LP Review; ROAM: “Smile Wide”

The Album:

ROAM put out their last album in 2017, and once that album hit the ground running, the band took a slight backseat to the music scene. Therefore, when there was talk of new tunes from the band, people were hyped for some new works, so let’s see if it was worth the wait. Now, I am going to start by saying that this album is not for everyone, and I am going to leave it at that. ROAM’s pervious sound was very raw and very much strategic pop punk. “Smile Wide” on the other hand, mixes a variety of music genres continuously while retaining the pop punk vocal style. There is a wonderful cross when musical genres can marry and thrive together; however, if the combination doesn’t match the vocal lines, lyrical content, the instrumentals, or the overall vibe of the record- this is when the band will run into a problem. When making your way through this album from front to back, it is noticeable that not a lot of this record makes logical sense, when talking about the album musically and aesthetically speaking. Most of the cross-genre attempts in this record just don’t click well together. And honestly, everything on the record comes across as overdone, or as if the band is trying way too hard. Overall, I would give this album a 2.5 out of 5 stars. I know this is a low score, but this album isn’t giving audience members anything innovative or new. The record sounds elementary and forced compared to the band’s previous works, and in general, the album just falls short because the album sounds like one composite song.

 

Top Tracks:

“The Fire on the Ceiling”, “Toy Box”, and “I Don’t Think I Live There Anymore”

As discussed in the general review, a lot of the tracks on this album don’t make a lot of sense, musically speaking; however, there is a track here and there that drives with lyrical moments that match the instrumentals that are present, and these are those works. When listening to the record, these tracks help to remind the audience of the older sound that they were used to from ROAM, but most of their edgier, more authentic sound has been lost, and this odd crossover between genres and auto tune are what remain. These selections do help to

 

The Artwork:

When glancing at the album artwork, it is apparent that the title of the record connects well with the image that is on the cover. However, when looking at it for the first time, the image is quite confusing, for it an awkward cross between slick and gimmicky. This is because the base image in the center is this cool fish that is created through a cracked art approach, but the bubbles that the fish is blowing out have smiley faces in them (???) [ a whole choice]. I would connect this to the music perfectly because the music on this record falls on the same confusing line. Some of the lyrics and the instrumentals make sense, but for the most part they seem to be more startling and perplexing than anything else. Moreover, I would say that the two are a perfect match for one another, but I wouldn’t say that is for the band’s benefit.

*”Smile Wide” was released on September 6th, 2019 through Hopeless Records.

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