Spaceship Days

Spaceship Days

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shouting It From the Rooftops: A "Black Holes and Butterflies" Review

Many thanks to everyone who has helped us spread the word about Black Holes and Butterflies, making it our most successful musical venture yet. 

 Below, is another review...

Artist: Spaceship Days
Album: Black Holes and Butterflies
Review by Sarah Whited
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Deeply emotional, beautifully melancholy and touchingly orchestrated, Spaceship Days’ Black Holes and Butterflies is inescapably romantic.  Each piece is haunting and intelligent, deep and brilliant.  This album’s balance of hope and acquiescence, joy and anguish, and so many other swirling emotions, reflects the maturity level of its members.  Greg Torsone, Chuck Cox and Matt Mocharnuk have a long history together.  After years as the middling-successful band “grey”, the three friends bid each other farewell in order to pursue music in their separate ways.  However, when the trio reunited for a movie night, the resulting songwriting and jam session proved that they were destined to make music together rather than separately.  As inexorable as crossing an event horizon, yet as delicately gorgeous as velvet wings at sunset, Spaceship Days’ second album is a truly moving example of how music can strum one’s soul by appealing to a wide range of emotions simultaneously instead of focusing on one at a time. 

The post-rock, Brit-pop sound is captured in all its crystalline glory through the consistently outstanding clarity of the production.  Poignant lyrics, on par with Anthony Genn’s of British group The Hours, take the listener back to the beating heart of music: our essential need to communicate our experiences to another human.  Similar to the newly-signed Disney band, Alpha Rev, Spaceship Days combines digital guitar effects, full orchestra, timeless piano/acoustic solos, rich vocal harmonies, vivid mental images, and intricate mixing techniques.  The resulting masterpieces are not merely “tunes,” they are the confessions to the universe.  

“Hanging from the Satellites” is a gentle introduction to the album.  Unexpected chord changes surrounding the chorus add interest.  The complete key change during the chorus gives the song a literal uplift, echoing the lyrics which describe the elation of being young and feeling that even the sky is within one’s grasp.  This selection is the perfect prelude to a fun-filled yet classy night, or a great class song for a graduation ceremony.  “Shadow Walking” also carries the unmistakable fingerprint of youth in elation, combined with a sense of disconnect.  The Rhodes effect of the introductory keyboard line is an elegant way to introduce the full distortion guitars and peppy drums.  This pop song uses a major key, upbeat drums, a heavy clap effect on the 2nd and 4th beats, and innocent-sounding Rhodes-chimes for an overall effect of happiness.  However, the lyrics reflect an essentially lonely theme.  This song should have been on the top 10 charts since the day it was released. 

“Ghost of California” is a perfect winter day song, a tribute to the 1960’s classic “California Dreaming.”  Although this song is a strong selection by the standards of other bands, it does not have the undeniable appeal that the two aforementioned songs have.  The extremely simple drums seem repetitive after the first verse, and the flute echo of the lead guitar line is almost too close to “California Dreaming” for comfort.  That said, this song is still a beautiful listen, and is appropriately placed in the song lineup. 

“Pain in Pretty Things” is a sweet ballad with piano and orchestra swirling throughout.  This melancholy rumination deftly describes the pain that a beautiful woman is capable of inflicting while avoiding cliché.  Spaceship Days’ strength lies in their ability to convey universally appealing themes through carefully crafted lyrics layered over intense yet youth-relevant instrumentation.  The group captures strong emotional content that usually conjures the label “indescribable,” making this album seem like a magical glass prison for distilled inspiration.  

“Sweet Suffocation” combines acoustic guitar, a clap track, light syncopation, and soaring harmonies to weave a poignant picture of a doomed yet thrilling relationship.  Like lingering in a burning home, the sense of inevitable catastrophe makes the narrator all the more reluctant to leave.  

Spaceship Days is a rare creature: exciting, mature, catchy, and masterfully produced.  If this band is not featured on major charts and radio soon, the world will have missed out on something exquisitely beautiful.

Review by Sarah Whited
Sarah Whited is an Austin, TX based singer/songwriter, and writer for Music Connection magazine

No comments:

Post a Comment