Review Summary: "And now we're unrelated and rid of all the shit we hated, but I hate when I feel like this and I never hated you."
If you were to think back to the first listen of your classic albums, what was your initial reaction? Was it conventional and uneventful, difficult to comprehend, or an immediate infatuation? The latter would perfectly describe my experience with Frightened Rabbit’s “The Midnight Organ Fight,” just this past week. The feeling that ensued with my first listen was something that I had not encountered since I heard Third Eye Blind’s debut some twelve years ago. Within the opening seconds of Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
, I had come to the realization that this was a special album; and ever since that feeling had consumed me I have never once doubted that “The Midnight Organ Fight” is a classic.
Frightened Rabbit’s “The Midnight Organ Fight” is a narrative of a tormented soul, not only recalling past relationships, but also perfectly depicting the after effects. Scott Hutchinson’s clinically depressed lyricism is the focal point; never ceasing to be brutally honest or losing its intensity from track to track. It would be difficult to discover another album that so consistently delivers such powerful one-liners, in which many of us could relate to at one point or another. “I’m not ready to see you this happy…I’m still in love with you, though I can’t admit it yet,” essentially says all there is to say about Hutchinson’s songwriting. Something is to be said about the magnitude of these poignant lyrics; for they are not only conveyed poetically and convincingly, but have the uncanny ability to relate to the average person. The previously mentioned lines in Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
, describe a circumstance that many have dealt with following a breakup. “The Midnight Organ Fight” is not strictly about the inability to let go however, with tracks such as Poke
suggesting the very opposite. “Why won’t our love keel over as it chokes on a bone? We can mourn its passing and then bury it in snow.”
The music on the record, while not particularly mind-blowing, is brilliant in such a way that it disguises the inner-despair that is contained in the lyrics. Floating in the Forth
is a momentous track that seems to build to something uplifting with its innocent instrumentation and vocal harmonies, but could very well be the record’s darkest moment. “I think I’ll save suicide for another year,” sings Scott Hutchinson; but it is delivered in such a way that the listener could easily miss its sincerity. The same goes for opener The Modern Leper
, which proves to be one of the album’s most upbeat tracks.
Even at “The Midnight Organ Fight’s” brightest moments such as I Feel Better
, the record is elevated to a point that it only comes crashing back down. Hutchinson hints that he “feels better,” but the remainder of the record’s tracks indicate the very opposite. As soon as the horns and blissful atmosphere of I Feel Better
commences, the tear jerking folk vibe of Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
enters. Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
could very well be one of the most fundamentally sound and perfectly written songs in recent history, for it is a track that truly has everything. Quite possibly the most incredible aspect about “The Midnight Organ Fight,” is that the quality of the songwriting and feel does not take a serious dive following Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
. In fact, nearly all of the other tracks appear to be almost equally as staggering.
Frightened Rabbit’s sophomore release “The Midnight Organ Fight,” is quite frankly one of the most captivating and uniformly crafted albums in recent memory. While never trying to be anything more than a heartfelt collection of songs, the lyricism reveals the struggles of a distressed and yet, very relatable man. The record offers instant accessibility, but is the type that contains those hidden gems that are only revealed through careful repeated listens. The feeling in listening to “The Midnight Organ Fight” is nothing short of magnificient, whether it is the infectious Scottish accent of lead singer Scott Hutchinson or the heartwarming sensation of Head Rolls Off
. The album manages to be uplifting and disheartening all at the same time, while disclosing some of the most brutally honest lyricism that has graced music. Most of the time, instincts are what point you in the right direction, and in the case of “The Midnight Organ Fight,” this is exactly what happened for me.
I Feel Better
Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
Head Rolls Off
Keep Yourself Warm
Floating in the Forth