All of my favourite bands are the ones that change their sound enough from each album that you can pick out which songs belong to which album just from the sound the song has. I think evolving as a band is key to a band’s success–or at least their notoriety.
The lead singles released for this album were songs that I fleetingly came across as I sorted through new music each week and while I was excited for this album I didn’t realise how excited until it actually happened. Nor did I fall in love with this album immediately.
I took a tentative step towards Creeper’s newest album and maybe, in the end, I fell a little too deep into fan girl territory.
Voices from the Void
You can read my review of Be My End which I did back when it was first released.
Born Cold was one of those songs that I didn’t care much for when I first heard it which is the say that I must not have been listening very hard. I’m glad that on re-listening to it on the release of this album I was able to give it the attention it deserves. I’ve been a fan of Will Gould’s voice since I first heard it but I wasn’t aware of how much control he had over it until I heard this song. I’ve always been quite fond of his mixed voice as it has this nice mix of both rock-edge to it while also maintaining that darker sound he tends to use with his crooning. I suppose I might be biased towards this kind of voice as it’s the technique I use when singing too.
Hannah Greenwood gives a wonderful performance as well, creating solid backing vocals and taking a lead in songs like Four Years Ago. While that last song wasn’t one of my favourites, her breathy and ethereal vocals float beautifully over Gould’s darker tones, fitting perfectly into the themes of Heaven verses Hell that go throughout the album.
A Disappointing Tale
I spent a good portion of this album on re-listens trying to figure out what the story is. While most albums should have some sort of story that ties it all together, I find that albums rarely have multiple interlude tracks without there being some greater narrative. However, unlike with most albums of this nature, I found myself struggling to put together the overarching narrative. I get the broad themes but maybe I’m missing something.
Of course, there is a certain melodramatic feel to these interludes that I find difficult to listen back to after the first couple listens of the album. I understand that theatrics are part of who the band is–it’s hard to miss that with bombastic songs filling the beginning of this album–but at a certain point I found myself laughing at the spoken-word interruptions.
It means that the chances of me listening through this whole album are slim. I’ve saved the handful of songs I really enjoy and that way I can skip these interludes altogether.
Favourite Track: Annabelle
I’ve listened to this song more times than I care to admit. It’s one of those songs where I’ll be listening to the album but when I get to this song I rewind and listen to it again.
I love the guitar work in this song and the choir vocals during the chorus just add to the over-the-top energy that this song has. I suppose one of the reasons I love it so much is because it feels like Creeper are really leaning into this theatrical persona they’ve taken on for the album.
I’ve loved the lyrical content throughout this album but this song has a flippant cynicism that I find myself drawn to. I mean, describing Hell as being “not that bad” because it has cheap rent and “the climate’s swell”? It just makes me smile the more lyrics I learn.
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Ultimately, I don’t know how I feel about this piece of work as an album. I doubt I’ll ever listen to it in its entirety again but there are still some songs I really enjoy. And I have no trouble with the switch-up in sound since I’m not familiar with Creeper’s previous work–though I’m very interested in hearing it.
I’m just not sure what this album is trying to say. I assume it’s trying to say something but what it is alludes me. There’s a mutually destructive relationship at the center of it which I guess ends in the deaths of both involved but it doesn’t quite live up to the theatrics.