Review Summary: If “In Evening Air” was the soundtrack of a heart purging out its pain and regret, “On the Water” is the soundtrack to a heart mending its wounds and moving on.
Break-ups are a though thing, it’s a moment of true emotional grief and regret, one where most of the things that mattered at some point or another are either discarded or no longer matter to either side, the stages of mourning, the awkward moments and silences, the things you wish you could of said but never had the courage to do so and the regret that comes with it, in no other way will any human being experience such a wide range of emotions at the same time frame than when it feels the gutting silence from its significant other.
In Evening Air saw Baltimore’s Future Islands at this stage, the wide range of emotions displayed in each song, the silly energy from a moment of clarity amongst the wreckage of emotions, the peaks and valleys of picking up the pieces of a shattered heart and everything in between, but now, the aftermath comes, it’s a haunted road ahead, one which must be traveled alone, this is where their latest release “On The Water” fits in.
Its been a bold move from the trio, one that most bands couldn’t be able to bounce back from, most of the dance-y feel that In Evening Air had is all but gone now and its been replaced by a sober and mature atmosphere, the emotion is still there, and its as big as it ever was but now its restrained, focused, the vocals show singer Samuel Herring, as gruff as he ever was, pouring his heart onto the lyrics every time but something is different, he no longer belts out the somewhat regretful and hopeful at the same time “Call me, I’ll be there Always”
from Inch Of Dust and now opts for a more grateful and retrospective “Whatever has us now, I cant forget somehow, For to forget a love is to regret”
in the band’s lead single Before the Bridge.
The musicianship goes hand in hand with this new found peace-of-mind too, most notably the synth work is taken a couple notches down, almost completely gone are the dance beats aside both singles “Before The Bridge”, “Balance” and “Close To None” if you take away the first minute or so of ambient noise, but this change is not a bad thing, hardly, things have changed, the band has evolved and so has their sound, the baselines are as strong and powerful as ever, same thing goes with the drumming, its all still there, that somewhat somber but still wishful-thinking vibe that was the backbone of their previous album is indeed still there, but its changed, its evolved into a diferent being that’s completely accepted the cards as they were dealt in front of it but refuses to forget its past, and its because of this said vibe that On The Water succeeds at its musical purpose.