After giving their listeners a revolutionized sound in 2016 with their last release, “Upside Down”, audience members were full of angst when waiting for the band’s 2019 release, “Midnight”, and major spoiler alert: this record slaps. Want to know why? Well, let’s get into it. From the beginning of the record, the band gives the audience high energy through musical variation through various music techniques; meaning, the band doesn’t stick to the same format when moving from track to track, which gives each song its own individuality. In the same breath, the band also utilizes different instrumentation throughout the album, which helps them to vary the texture when moving through each song on the list. This gives the vocalist the opportunity to expand on some vocal moments, and on the opposite side, the instrumental section gets to dig into it and have some moments to shine as well. When looking at the lyrical content, most of the content that is found on the record is highly relatable, and is content that isn’t new for the band to touch on either. However, in this go-around, the band sets up their listeners with relatable context that is approached in a witty manner, so both the music and the lyrical content feels progressive and innovative. Overall, I am giving this album a 5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score because the make of the album is simply breath-taking. There is something on this album for everyone, so much so it doesn’t feel like this record fits into one musical genre, which is hard to pull off effectively. I know it is crazy to see a full score so early into the year, but the make of this album is so strong when talking about it from top to bottom, front to back, randomly, and everything in between. Honestly, this album, I know so early on in 2019, has the potential to be one of the top records of the year, so don’t sleep on it.
“Lonely Dance”, “Raise No Fool”, “No Disrespect”
Now, as talked about above, this album smacks: point, blank, period; however, that doesn’t mean that some tracks aren’t better than others. With the level of phenomena that rages through this record, it was hard to select the best of the best, but it had to be done. These stick out as the best selections, for the band pulls on a variety of musical techniques and musical genres in these works in such a way that gives the audience the perfect blend of their old and new characteristic sound. Furthermore, you should check out this entire album, but if you’re just looking for a taste- this is a good place to start.
When one first looks at the cover of the album, a small interest may form, for the imagery found on this cover is very outside of the box for Set It Off. Also, the artwork itself is very enchanting. The image shows two hands hovering over/under one another, with sand flowing in-between them to form a hypothetical hourglass. The other portion of the cover depicts the name of the band as well as the title of the record. The color scheme for the album cover spans the spectrum of different shades of blue with some dashes of white here and there. Now, let’s see how the two connect: from the jump, there is a connection to the hourglass analogy and the song entitled “Hourglass”; however, there are some other, stronger, connections that aren’t as clear. As one makes their way through the record, it is apparent that the album goes through various emotions that one goes through around the midnight hour. When that time occurs, a vast number of things are possible for every human being, mentally and physically speaking, which goes along with the symbolism for the color blue. That symbolism circling around intelligence, wisdom, trust, faith, and other things of that nature. Additionally, sometimes when going through those harsher feelings at midnight, it can feel like each second that passes takes a millennium, and that can easily be depicted with the image of an hourglass. Therefore, I would say the two connect perfectly, and they do so in a way that enhances the overall record, for it gives the audience a cohesive project: inside and out.
*”Midnight” was released on February 1st, 2019 through Fearless Records.