Review Summary: Artist Vs Poet lays a foundation for great future expectations with a nice debut album.
When anyone who doesn’t listen to a great amount of alternative rock/pop hears Artist Vs Poet, names like All Time Low, Mayday Parade, & The All American Rejects pop into their heads and how this one is another wannabe. Though this is another name to tack into the genre, they show a unique taste by having the cutesy, upbeat tracks, serious, moving songs, and in between. Vocalist Tarcy Thomason is an undisputed great talent, and secondary vocalist (who since the release, has become the primary vocalist) Joe Kirkland supplements him very well. The guitars from Joe Kirkland & Craig Calloway are decent, not shocking, and help the album stay above water. I can never hear the bass well at all, but in alternative pop, when can you? The drumming is a surprisingly talented effort. The little things that Joe Westbrook does go unnoticed, but if you listen closely, you’ll see that he is a very good drummer and really impresses. Half the album is laced with synthetic beats, very much like newer All Time Low. The album’s first few songs are all intriguing in their own sense. Car Crash & Adorable open to a very upbeat, poppy, sound. And while Adorable is a corny love song for teen couples, it shines with a remarkable vocal duet by Tarcy & Joe K. These make the album interesting, but after Damn Rough Night, the album is cursed by songs that all follow a similar, drab theme up until Alive, aside from Miserably Loving You. They’re not very special, right down to the uninteresting song titles. They can be interesting for any intense fan, but other than that, they fill the album up to the final 2 tracks.
While the 5 songs found in the middle of the album don’t impress, the others all are pretty decent. The title track from Favorite Fix showcases a few unique things that get the nod of approval of the whole band. It’s a more serious song, seemingly about an addiction to a female, and does a remarkable job of making the song tasty. It even has a breakdown, could you imagine a mosh pit at a Never Shout Never show? I think not, this song is a great effort by the 5-piece. The sad songs on the album, Alive & Miserably Loving You, do a great job of keeping the album interesting towards the end. While the themes are obviously generic, as being depressed over a break-up is the theme of American Puberty, they don’t lose any attention. The most popular song on the album, Damn Rough Night, is annoying quite frankly. But it’s still the most popular song on Favorite Fix and I can’t bash it too much. Unconscious Reality is a chill song, not sad and not happy. It’s a break between the title track and Damn Rough Night and almost seems to get lost unfortunately. The last song, Giving Yourself Away, is the most upbeat song on the album and picks up the pace after the depressing 4 minutes of Alive. It’s placement as the final track is pivotal and genius; it leaves the listener thirsty for more, even after such a hit-miss performance.
All in all, it’s an interesting album, not too shabby although they have work to do. The changes in personnel will be a test for the band in their next release, but the new primary vocalist is definitely not just the usual.
- Favorite Fix
- Unconscious Reality
- Giving Yourself Away