Following the success of his first album, In Time, Ryan Kelly is back with his second attempt, Life, in which nine of of the thirteen songs are written by himself. The concept is simple, to learn from life’s colorful experiences and capture it in lyrics and music.
The album starts off with the happy and inspiring From the Very Front Row - a special little tune that will make you want to quit your job and travel and spend five weeks in a beautiful warm beach town and just enjoy the perks of life. It is, after all, what is being offered here.
In the mid-section of the album though, it all starts to deteriorate. In Poison from Afar… actually… I’m sorry, did you break up with Taylor Swift? No, break up songs aren’t necessarily the worst, but even without the choice of words Taylor would use, it still shows anger, bitterness, and your cruel, vindictive side. If you’re not careful, some might think that you’re either out for revenge or, worse, still not over the event. The only pass I will give you is the fact that, unlike Taylor Swift, you’ve managed to keep most of the offense concealed.
The other offender on the list is mediocre cover, Samba (From May to September). This two-and-a-half minute track has been hailed in the RK-fandom as “the sexy song”, but it is, in fact, more of a drunken fumbling in bed in the dark with a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing, and ending in a forced, fake orgasm, then waiting for him to take a shower the second he’s finished. Unsatisfying at best.
However, it doesn’t mean that this album doesn’t have its highlights! The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, for example, is a respectful tribute to the Australian fandom that is sung beautifully on guitar and violin. Many have covered, yet most couldn’t reach the emotional scale shown in this version.
In Your Time and Significant, we are reminded that however much your life sucks, it is possible to recover and restart, and to appreciate things as they happen and learn from them (be it a sucky stint at Starbucks, a psycho ex-boyfriend, or falling down a flight of stairs and hitting your head as the entire school watched). Simple ideas wrapped in well-composed verses and music.
The album ends with the the uplifting Live for Life. Accompanied only by African drums and harmonious backing vocals, its message is fairly straightforward: to continue living day by day because we have good lives, nothing more, nothing less.
Overall, Life is a bigger, bolder, and better change from the slow, depressing In Time. It is clear that several years of experiences have expanded Kelly’s capacity as a singer, songwriter, and musician. Sure, there are couple of hiccups here and there, but not enough to deny his talents and charm.
(comments, criticism, rants, kindly direct them to me on twitter: @ka_rizz - thanks)
[Please answer here, not fanmail]
Capricorns. They just have no personality or originality. And they’re very boring! Also they lack appreciation for the arts. Does not go well at all with Libra.
And younger Geminis - they’re a bit immature.
Oh, and Virgos, because they think they’re Practically Perfect, but really they’re just boring, whiny little fuckers.
Yet another ground-breaking album by this Dutch band. Twelve years since its debut and two lead singers later, Di-Rect has once again managed to mesmerize its fan base and the Dutch music scene with Daydreams in a Blackout.
The album opens with the latest single, Invincible, a statement-making track that declares the guys are back and more powerful than ever.
Immediately following, is Yeah Yeah Yeah. The mellow first verse is joined by a piano and guitar background that fuses beautifully as the second verse starts, and followed by a flawless guitar solo. The track comes to an anthemic end that declares the band have matured since their last album in terms of songwriting and music, making it a brilliant start to the album.
The album’s tittle track, Daydreams in a Blackout, corroborates the statement made in the opening tracks that the band has indeed matured in its musical aspect, yet still maintain the uniqueness that separates Di-Rect from other bands.
Daydreams in a Blackout retains the subtle rock sound while highlighting the vocal quality of its members, and the surrealism of one’s mind poured out in a blend of lyrics and music - something that has become the band’s signature since its revival in 2010, officially moving it away from the mainstream overpowering rock sound with its predictable song themes and grammatical errors it used to have.
Another one worth mentioning is Here’s To The Love, the second-last track and, if I may say so myself, perfect ending. This remarkable four-and-a-half-minute track gives you everything from energetic drums, to powerful guitars wrapped in impressive bass and piano, topped off with flawless vocals that is sure to become the band’s next anthem at concerts.
Overall, Daydreams in a Blackout marks Di-Rect’s best effort to date. It is clear from the previous three albums that Di-Rect has matured both in sound and as songwriters and performers, and that maturity is evident in the quality of music they have produced over the last four years. Eloquent lyrics in perfect English combined with clear theme for each song has become the band’s focus, as well as presenting it in a well-composed, well-thought out music in which each instrument has its own role in every song - as opposed to a mash of different sounds mixed together to produce a general rock sound with an added bonus of untrained vocals. A significant evolution from where the band first started, and into a place where quality of music and concept tops its past reputation. Number one on the charts as it deserves.
Regram from @directband because it’s Spike and a kitty… who looks a little uncomfortable by the way… 😕
Melasti festival taking place along Jln. Petitenget, Seminyak. 3/28/14
#holiday #bali #melasti #hindu #seminyak
They’re still on display!! 😁
#holiday #bali #nyepi #statue #street #seminyak #ogohogoh #art #religious
Had breakfast at this cute little cafe down the street from my hotel and randomly started reading the displayed books while waiting for my chai and pancake. I’m only one chapter in but I’m already excited! Ordered a copy online already 😋😁📖📚
#bali #holiday #breakfast #coffeeshop #book #literature #darkmans #nicolabarker #averynerdybreakfast