Have you ever happened across an album where the songs seem to flow like as story? Where you can listen to each song works well individually, but deep down you know they’re meant to be enjoyed as a whole? For me that Album is Grey Goes Black’s newest release, And Inside There Was Only Water that dropped on March 31 this year. For the sake of the review I’m going to keep speculating about the way I feel like the songs connect to a minimum so you lovely readers out there can go into this with fresh ears and eyes, and if you’re really interested in hearing my personal opinion let me know and I’ll do a followup piece.
The album opens up with a short ambient spoken word piece voiced by Chelsea Gohd, the lead singer of NJ band Foxanne. I find this inclusion very fitting given the undeniable poeticism of the lyrics throughout the album. The piece itself is actually a monologue from Watchmen, although its inclusion does not mean the album was inspired by said comic. Rather, the opening piece is a reference to a special release of the album which takes the form of a flash drive inside a snow globe which will also include their previous EPs (I’m excited to see all the creative ways people get it out.)
The first official song on the album is a slow-paced (ballad?) simply known as “Please,” and it is lovely. The strong bass line and powerful, consistent beat evokes the feeling of a journey just begun, which works with the song’s prevailing theme of leaving behind the old things in life that just don’t work for anymore. This point is further enforced by the song’s lyrics which paint the picture of parting lovers perfectly. (Accidental alliteration. Sue me.) It’s also a great song to listen to on road trips, from personal experience.
“Running Into Walls” incorporates more of the electronic elements GreyGoesBlack are known for, with a strong beat and simplistic melody that mesh together to make something truly awesome. I’m not sure if they did this on purpose, but the first word of the song is “please” which carries over from the previous song of the same name. It is also a parallel in theme, whereas the first song was about wanting to leave a relationship, this song is asking how to make an existing (if not stressful) relationship work. Perhaps a response song, or is it just a coincidence? Either way, I dig the contrast.
“Everything You Warned Me About” marks the midpoint of the album, as it slows us down again with it’s mellow flow. The soft lead in contrasts well with the intermittent builds in the drums and bass that set the rhythm of the song. The melody is very catchy, yet has a sense of sorrow hidden in it. It is apparent at this point in the song that the singer still holds feelings for the subject while acknowledging that things just aren’t working, and it seems like they were warned about it from the very start.
“Gone” has a very nostalgic tone, as it reminisces over a flame that seems to have burnt out a while ago. Simplistic and sorrowful with a flow that builds intermittently, paralleling the pain of the singer acknowledging the fact that he has been changed and is in a sense “gone.” This song will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced the painful slow-fade end of a relationship.
“Sunburn In November” is personally my favorite track on the album. It’s got as super catchy beat and the lyrics really strike a chord in me (music pun, you’re welcome). Not to mention that awesome melody that I’ve been humming for the past few days now. There’s definitely a nostalgic feel to this song that stays true to the albums overall vibe. The serene sound of the verses coupled with the light yet energetic, and almost mystical sound of the chorus really create a unique sound that makes the track stand out.
The last song on the album is called “Helpless,” an inspirational (power ballad?) urging the subject to not give up despite the difficulties in life. This could be interpreted as being directed at the listener or another character in the story chronicled by the album. Personally, I took it as the former, and as someone who occasionally struggles with the stress and pressure of post-grad life, it actually helped me very much. The flow is smooth and almost hypnotic, bringing you to a peaceful state of mind. The peace is disrupted however as the song fade out to white noise, followed by the end line of spoken word piece from Wish. “But inside there was only water.”
You can find Grey Goes Black on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify, so what are you still doing here? Go listen for yourself!