1 December 2015
A Silent Film - A Silent Film
A Silent Film are a band I have followed for a while, ever since I first heard the song "You Will Leave a Mark" which was used when the TV channel Watch was launched in the UK. It was taken from their debut album 'The City That Sleeps' which is one that I have to play once or twice a year. It is a stunning record which I still love to this day, I return to it more times than is strictly healthy and I still love it. Hailing from Oxford in the UK, but spend a lot of time touring America; they are doing very well and this album is their third release. Now it has been a while since I listened to them, so let us see how they have changed....
"Something to Believe In" starts the album with a bright sound that sounds like the 80 kids who listen to A-ha have finally came to their own. It is a beautiful opening about getting over the loss of a love and not waiting any longer. I know at least three or four of the so-called big piano rock bands would have loved to have come up with a song like this. Mid-tempo, catchy chorus, beautiful music and vocals that sound as clear as they did when they first started. "Lightning Strike" continues on a similar theme with a song that sounds very anthemic and bigger than the world when it is being played. There is a feeling in this song that it has been mined from the same place where Keane and Coldplay get their songs, it aims for the stars and actually reaches them as well. This is not to put you off, to be honest I think a few people have those two bands as guilty pleasures; this is a song that you do not need to feel guilty about in any way. The song is a about being ready for love to happen and the anticipation of the event and it sounds brilliant. "Chinese Lanterns" is a song with Oriental overtones to the sound, it is a gentle sounding song and it will make a lot of people happy. However, this is the first song by these guys which I do not understand. I do not mean musically or lyrically, I mean as to why it is on here - sadly it is a poor choice on this album and I have tried with this a lot, it just gets the same reaction each time and a bigger sigh as well. Alas we have the first break in the armour for this band.
"I Don't Need A Reason" is a gentle love song about feeling the urge to be with your lover and wanting everything to be just so as it is already perfect. Whilst it is no "Thirteen Steps..." it is a gentle ballad that holds your attention and shows that everything does not need to be loud to have a quality about it. "Paralysed" is a strange song if truth be told, it seems to be using a lot of the production techniques that have been used on the latest Fall out Boy album and it makes it their own. But it does clash with other songs on here for me, it stands out but not in a way that makes me love it; it is good song played very well but it is not a wonderful one. "Evergreen" is a slow number, focusing on the piano and string with a deeper vocals as well. A love song comparing the subject love to trees in a forest, it fades in slowly to begin with and then settling on its pattern and pace as it slowly builds to a gentle peak that will make people react in one of two ways. For me, it is a good song which I am once again liking; but there is no love for this number to be honest. "Lake Swimming" is a song that aims for epic and on this occasion it is just a decent number. With a bigger than life sound, it is about (as the title says) swimming in a lake with a lover. It is a strong song, the instruments sound dramatic and are played well; it is just a good song though and not one I itch to hear again.
"Lavender Fields" slows the mood down again, with another shot at the loving melancholy moment and once more not quite reaching that height of previous songs. It sound lovely, I cannot deny that but so does a lot of other bands and this song drifts by with the gentlest of touches that prove to be a little too subtle for these ears. "Strong Enough" starts off with a bit of a gospel sound to the piano/keyboard and it is built around a simple progression of notes that does not seem to be doing much. The chorus is a contrast and once again goes for anthemic and sort of gets there, it is a great message about not giving and holding on; it almost falls apart in place yet it still manages to make me sing along by the end of it which is a win in my book. The penultimate song of the album is called "Where Snow Have Flown" which starts off very well with a gentle keyboard playing, however it does not finish that way. Sadly the band keep adding layers when not were needed and a subtle song would have worked better than this, it is a shame as I think there is an emotive classic to be dug out of this song. Ending the record is "Losing Hand" and it is all about trying to make the best out of what you have, I am not sure if this is place here with ironic intentions or just one of those things. It is once again played well, but it is making me feel cold and even when the song reaches its peak and that is a sorry state of affairs to end this record on.
This album is a decent album that sadly does not have all the charm of their first records for me, but even with a few moments which do not deliver as well as the band might have imagined, it is far from being a bad album. The problem here is down to some production decisions with a few numbers and a couple of sub-standard tracks. I also starts with the strongest of the bunch and that gives it an uneven feel. I still like this band a lot, I think that the way they are following their dreams is brilliant and I wish nothing for the best for them. I will also be reviewing further releases as I know they can make amazing records, this is just a decent one.
6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but it’s not quite there
Top track - Something to Believe In
You can purchase A Silent Film on Amazon here
You can visit the website of A Silent Film here (there is also a webstore as well)
You can follow the activities of A Silent Film on Facebook here
You can stream A Silent Film on Spotify here
You can stream A Silent Film on Deezer here
You can stream A Silent Film on Tidal here
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