After a sensation debut LP in 2019, “Now, Not Yet,” fans of Half Alive waited patiently for new music that challenged what we knew of Alternative-Pop while paying homage to such a strong release. Let’s dive in to see if their 2022 latest does just that.
I would say from the jump that this record doesn’t feel as experimental or innovative than their previous release; however, that is not necessarily a dig because this work resonates with the sound they introduced in their debut LP. Giving their audience of more what they loved is never a bad thing. In this instance, we are getting a pure Alternative-Pop sound with mixed instrumentation of drums, electronics, keys, and a dash of sound effects and other stringed instruments. This instrumentation is utilized throughout the release to complement and uplift their catchy and memorable melodic lines.
With this in mind, I would say that some of the instrumental moments accent on their own to shine for brief moments, but the main focus is the lyrics and melodies the band creates throughout each of their songs. This approach makes for songs that will stick in your head and have you continually wanting to return to the record. There are moments where the instrumental music feels perspective in times, but I would say through the view of the artist and not the industry. So, if you life Half Alive: you will like this record.
I find this EP to be music that is immersive as the listener can easily get lost in the music without putting much thought into the listening. I’ve listening to this work a handful of times, and I think at least once a record I find myself zoning out a little bit because I just start to vibe with the overall experience. However, in these moments I wouldn’t say that I feel overcome by the music, but it is just there.
Part of this may be because a lot of the record feels like it did in their initial release: I would’ve liked something a little different or maybe a different variety of spice. The songs that stuck out to me on the make were the ones that pushed the envelope a little bit more compared to the Alt-Pop Template (like “Everything Machine”). I am not saying everything needs to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes the push of contrast helps with the memorable factor.
In general, I would give this EP a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The music on the make is truly good, and I don’t have any specific complaints about the music itself: I was just expecting more from the project. This is a “Pt. 1,” so I am excited to see what’s to come.
*”Give Me Your Shoulders Pt. 1″ was released on February 11th, 2022 through RCA Records.