The Twilight Sad: No One Can Ever Know
The Twilight Sad: No One Can Ever Know– The Twilight Sad are a shoegazer pop band from Kilsyth, Scotland. If you’ve never heard them before, the first thing that stands out above everything are James Graham’s vocals: A thick-accented and soulful vocalist whose lyrics consistently conjure graphic images of life. The music has always been shoegazer at its core and continues to be a constant on this record. I’d compare them to someone, but they have entirely their own sound and once you’ve heard them, I challenge anyone to come up with a band who resembles them.
On their previous 3 records, The Twilight Sad had a pretty good thing going with the aforementioned shoegazer droning iced with Graham’s vocals. But, as with most things and most bands who want to stay relevant, they decided to change things a bit for this album. Sure, their core is still there, but they’ve incorporated keyboards pretty frequently and added drum machines from time to time. Unfortunately, the results are mixed. Occasionally when it did work, it added a new perspective into their range as artists. I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by them, but it was a pleasant surprise and break from what I’ve come to expect from them. However, the times it didn’t work were also the times I began to think that the vocals were there to drown-out the lackluster instrumentation and as a result the occasionally repetitive lyrics began to irritate me.
No One Can Ever Know also has a length problem. ‘Sure,’ you’ll say, ‘this is an LP. It’s supposed to be long.’ Maybe. But I’d also argue that one of the best things about The Twilight Sad is that they also knew how to edit a song. I found that time and time again songs dragged on and became repetitive lyrically because of it. And when you notice that every song is 4 mins long or more, you see a problem unraveling the album before you’ve even began listening to it. I’ve said a couple of times before that I’m typically a 3.5-minute song guy and this is where my logic comes into play: It can overwhelm you after a while.
After I finish this record, I constantly come to the same conclusions: I like the ambition to step out of their comfort zone and the songs that incorporated those elements the best were the highlights of the album. But more often than not, it just seemed too forced and it sounded as if they elongated the songs and became more and more repetitive to cover for it. Though most of the problems are technical, the intermittent highlights keep me optimistic that they’ll work these issues out before their next full length…7.1/10