Coming off such a successful era that Movements created through their previous release “Feel Something”, fans were dying to see what musical turn they were going to take with “No Good Left to Give.” I don’t want to give away too much from the jump, but all I will say is that “Feel Something” was left in good hands. So, let’s turn towards the new tunes and see what Movements has created. From their singles into their full-length release, it was heard that the overall soundscape of the band was taking a slight shift away from the rooted pop punk sound that their previous releases drove with. The new sound of the band seems to have the foundation of a pop punk/rock approach with a fresh spin on hardcore music with an alternative gloss. What does that all mean? As we listen to the record, it is apparent that the band is utilizing similar instrumental techniques compared to their previous works. These moments of instrumental juxtaposition to accent the vocal line paired with instrumental breakdowns provide the balance that is signature to the pop punk/rock brand. I believe their sound takes an edgier shift with a twist however due to the scoring and the amount of aggressive moments found throughout. During the album, the listeners can expect the vocalist’s full-range and skillset more often as the instrumentals set the mood for the track. This approach is very indicative of the hardcore scene of music, which the band emphasizes as some sung moments move towards screaming. This building intensity morphs into the alternative realm in the finished product. The way that the band balances out all the pieces to their puzzle creates this finished album that drives on this cool sounding sensation that resonates in an alternative flair. This switch may sound dramatic on paper, but when listening to the record from front to back, listeners can expect to sense the sophomore album’s relationship to its predecessor. There was a certain feeling that Movements was able to create through “Feel Something” (yes, all puns intended)- it is hard to explain, but it was just there. As one listens to this album, that exact connection to emotion lies throughout. Once one makes it through the entire work, there is this emotional roller coaster that is experienced without realization, which enforces this power in emotions that Movements are known for invoking. Overall, I am giving this album a 4.75 out of 5 stars. This record is truly incredible. I can honestly say I was nervous for this release because “Feel Something” is an unforgettable album, but Movements truly put together another musical masterpiece that needs to be experienced.
“Moonlight Lines”, “12 Weeks”, and “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost”
When an artist brings such a remarkable record to the table, it is very hard to decide which tracks stick out amongst the pack, but luckily I’m here to do the hard work. When listening to this album from front to back, it is easily said that Movements developed a beautiful flow- each selection falls exactly where it should on the make. However, there are these moments that just stick out and strike the listener- peaks their interest, and these are those tracks. These musical moments are able to do so by packing enough of the “Feel Something” era into what is now their rejuvenated sound. I stand by the lead singer when he said “don’t you dare hit shuffle”, but if you just want a taste, I would start here.
At first glance, it can be said that the band is elevating the artwork aesthetic that has retained since they started. This approach normally includes a human of some sort in a green, black, and white color scheme with some type of blurred image- this cover is no different. For “No Good Left to Give”, the artwork depicts a human starring off into the distance. This human is crafted through a collage method- piecing together different facial parts of other people to form one face. The band sticks with the collage approach by pasting the name of the record in small pieces of paper throughout the picture. Arguably, this image is incredibly power as it stands on its own. Let’s turn to see if the music that falls on the inside has a direct correlation. As one listens to the record, there is a variety of emotions that the band supplies to the listener: love, pain, reflection, empathy, and sympathy just to name a few. These emotions are reflected through the lyrical lines throughout the album. Not only do the lyrics provide these thematic centers through its diction, but the way that the vocalist places emphasis during these moments is what drives it home. This connects to the cover, for when one is going through these emotions they may feel like they are falling apart, and the reality is- so many people feel this way. Thus, creating an image, where different people are coming together to brave the storm relations to the notion of people coming together to experience this record- everyone can feel these emotions and not be alone. (Even if it makes us want to fall apart- we will still be whole). Another, more abstract connection, lies in the how the band scores the album. As one listens, it is evident that the instrumentation is either letting it rip, or setting the scene to create the vibe. As this occurs, the instrumentation remains rather low in terms of range, which creates this coat of sound that is enchanting. This factor connections to the notion of the person just starring into space, for when music falls in the enchanting realm, it can feel as if you are in a trance. In general, I would say both are absolutely remarkable on their own, but together they make for another Movements record that can’t be slept on.
*”No Good Left to Give” was released on September 18th, 2020 through Fearless Records.