Not too long ago a (somewhat) wise person told us: "No one will ever believe the CD is any good if you keep telling them so. People have to hear that stuff from someone else"
That little tidbit of advice--and others-- were delivered brusquely enough to dent our bulletproof exterior, but proved to have some merits if one could selectively listen around all the expletives. After all, once our ears stopped ringing it seemed perfectly logical; who but an already uber -successful-don't- have-a -day job-and -can-talk-about-it- three-albums-later-artist would ever cop to making a bad LP?
So here it is, thoughts on "The Halo Effect" as written by someone else.
Album Title: The Halo Effect
Artist: Spaceship Days
Reviewed by: Rhonda Readence
Reviewed by: Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Title of Review: Polished and Clean Soft Alternative
Review Summary: Spaceship Days brings forth a lasting bond with their album The Halo Effect. Soft alternative has never sounded this clean while brimming with emotion, optimism and hope. Precise engineering, skilled musicianship and unbridled talent leave listeners with a feeling of having just heard something distinctly different and special.
Review: Spaceship Days’ album The Halo Effect begins with the track “A Little Extraordinary,” which can also describe the sound of this trio of musicians, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who have known each other since childhood. From the opening notes, it is clear that the bond shared amongst this collective is a strong one. Drawing heavily on influences such as Catherine Wheel, Radiohead, and a plethora of soft alternative bands that have influenced them throughout their impressive musical careers, Spaceship Days provides listeners with an optimistic and enlightening approach to music and creativity.
“Pain in Pretty Things” carries a vocal pattern that is reminiscent of the song “Mad World” by Tears For Fears, specifically the Donnie Darko soundtrack version. While that tune is dark and perhaps a bit disturbing, “Pain in Pretty Things” is much lighter by contrast. There is a melancholy feel, but there is also a rather uplifting rhythm to it that prevents it from being too heavy. The sound is crisp and the vocalist’s range is extraordinary. This track gives the listener a sense of anticipation at what is to come on the rest of the album.
The next track, “Big World Pop Star,” has a mellow dreamy quality about it that is sure to make adolescent girls get butterflies inside. The piano work is a nice touch and each note is precise, clean and well engineered. The track fades out softly and paves the way for “Stick On Stars,” which should be Spaceship Days’ hit single on this album. This piece surpasses expectations and sets the bar high for what is to come. Musically, “Stick On Stars” is a brilliant composition with an incredible sound. Lyrically, the piece gives hope, inspiration, and an optimistic sense of possibilities. This track is sure to be a fan favorite and a commercial success.
“Something Perfect” is clearly a song heavily influenced by Catherine Wheel, and yet Spaceship Days creates their own sound and unique way of portraying the world around them through music. Listeners familiar with the band Slowdive may find some similarities there as well. The polished sound and near flawless engineering shines through with clarity on this track and the vocalist showcases his range and the smooth transitions from high to low. The gradual fade out is the perfect compliment to the next track, “My Life With You,” is a beautifully written song that sends a message of undying devotion and unconditional love. This emotional ballad is exactly what women (and men) want to hear from their partner and Spaceship Days performs it wonderfully.
“The One That Got Away” is a rather deep piece that also focuses on love. Listeners near and far, from every walk of life, can relate to this heart-breaking melody and the powerful lyrics that bring forth emotions and memories. Candidly sung, Spaceship Days touches upon the insecurities that humans feel; the self-doubt and the questions we ask ourselves late at night when sleep is far. The instrumentation is not overly complicated in this piece, which adds to the charm of it and allows the listener to really focus on the exceptional vocals and lyrics. This song hits home in many different ways to many different people and would be an excellent song choice to perform live. Lighters will be flickering and wavering as the crowd sings along.
The album closes with “Oceans” and it’s a fantastic choice to end on. The track is upbeat, optimistic and melodic with a touch of sadness. A song written about time passing and the inevitable changes that occur, “Oceans” is another track that is easy to relate to. Spaceship Days leaves their fans with a sense of being understood and understanding of others. The message that Spaceship Days is giving their listeners is one of warmth and hope, belonging and comfort. This trio of skilled musicians has succeeded in bringing people together through their music and providing an escape from reality while still retaining an awareness of it. It’s a beautiful experience when a band is able to do that, and Spaceship Days does it amazingly well throughout their album The Halo Effect.
Review written by Rhonda Readence
--Rhonda Readence is a freelance writer based out of Cleveland Ohio who currently writes the Artist of the Week feature for Exciting City Magazine.
"The Halo Effect" is available through Reputation Label at an extra low price. Now that you've heard about it from someone you don't know, why not pick one up?
Then you can tell another stranger.