Here is how I plan on doing album reviews. I'm going to listen to the album all the way through two times, taking notes as I go. Then I'll give a review after each listen. I'm excited about this one. The Head and The Hearts first self titled album is one of my favorite albums of all time. As a whole I think every song on that album is a 9 or a 10. Their second album, Lets Be Still, was good, but didn't come close to their debut. This is their third studio album. They have switched labels and are now with Warner Bros so it will be interesting to see if their sound has changed with it.
I just got through it in one shot. The total run time for the album is 49 minutes. There were some songs that lulled me away from active listening and others that perked up my ears. It started out strong with All We Ever Know. It's different than the first album. It is louder and feels more urgent. The first album was calm with sweeping harmonies.
The second and third songs weren't bad but didn't feel like anything special to me. City of Angels seems to about how much he loves L.A. Seems odd to me for some reason. I've just heard time and time again about the artists who hate L.A. but know it is a means to an end. This does show a change in where the songwriter is at though. The self titled album was all about the lost feeling of beginning your adult life. It had lyrics like "I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade, like riding around on rail cars and working long days" and "All my friends are talkin' about leavin', about leavin', But all my friends are sittin' in their graves". Those were the lyrics and thoughts I loved. Now I guess the guy loves Los Angeles? Maybe it's just because I don't relate to that at all. I haven't been to L.A. and don't think I would like it.
The next two songs, False Alarm and Dreamer I did not enjoy. I felt like there was too much going on. They've got great voices and those should be the main instrument used. I miss the harmonies.
The last batch of songs included some harmonizing. I enjoyed Colors and Take a Walk.
This next listen I am going to bring up the lyrics to the songs as I listen to them. I'm a big lyrics guy. Love the stories and meanings that go into each song.
Still not fully sold on this album. Most of the songs leave me wanting more from the lyrics. They all seem to have great opening verses then get caught in a whirlwind of repetition and instrumentals before diving into the message and meaning. On the surface it seems to have a lot of songs that deal with not being with a loved one, physically or emotionally. All We Ever Knew, City of Angels, Rhythm & Blues, and False Alarm all seem to fit this mold.
Later on in the album it becomes more about missing home, life on the road, and the inability to find peace and comfort. "Why's it so hard to find a peace of mind in a world where you're given all of the time, just to find out, yeah, to find out". My favorite song on the album at this point is probably Library Magic. It is the first one that has multiple verses and a message that got my attention. To me it seems to be about the touring life and his relationship with music as a whole."Making music is what we do / trying to weave the patterns for me and you / trying to make the grasses green / and the grown man cry". Later in the song he talks about quitting the band on occasions but realizing his life is better when he's making music.
I'm more disappointed than I am happy with it. Their first album hooked me immediately. I can't remember an album getting my attention in every way as quickly as that one did. With this album and the one prior I seem to be searching for that same feeling. When I don't find it I think it's me and I just have to keep listening more. I don't think that is the case though. I'd like them to get back to a simpler format. Just the three of them. More of Charity (the female vocalist) singing. More of the calm and sweeping harmonies.
I imagine that these songs, stripped down for acoustic performances, would really get my attention. I will be on the lookout for those.
Favorite song: Library Magic
Favorite lyric: Being alone isn't lonely
sought after like a holiday
being home is my vacation
postcard dreams of full-sized beds
I like the Yankees, watching TV shows and talking about stuff.
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