Review Summary: Delving into depression and despair with such an urgency that it's almost uplifting, Therefore I Am releaesed one of the best, if not the best debut album 2009."I think, therefore I am."
- René Descartes
What is despair?
1. Loss of hope; utter hopelessness; complete despondency.
“He turned around in despair, aware that he was not going to survive.”
2. That which is despaired of."
Therefore I Am's vocalist Alex Correia seems to have gone through a lot of desperate times. He sure seems to know what despair is. Therefore I Am really is a band with lyrics that are thought through and made to make you think. These are some of the most personal lyrics I ever read. On it's no wonder why Correia sings and screams about a person (most likely his father) who died of drug abuse. This is an ongoing theme throughout the album. And the music works as a perfect vessel for the lyrics to truly convey the message. Correias voice is always shifting between screaming, singing and something inbetween. It never sounds emotionless, always authentic and poweful.
"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
- René Descartes
From the start of the record with it's spoken word inro "See for us, it’s like no one is really happy anymore…"
the direction is set. The band pleasantly originates it's sound out of a mixture of post-hardcore, hardcore punk and rock and blended it into a unique atmospheric hardcore sound. Blending so many genres into one can make the album seem like patchwork, yet this sure doesn't. Therefore I Am structured the album in a clever way, most of the straight forward hardcore songs are in the first half of the album and the further you listen, the more atmospheric elements are weaved into the songs, while not losing any urgency in the sound. A melancholic feeling hovers above all songs, contributing to the cohesive feeling of the album, accompanied by hopeless anger via the rabid screams of guitarist Brian Marquis, the two voices really fit together perfectly.
All this finds it's peak in the last track of the album You Leave. Starting with a quiet midi intro and kids laughter in the background, then Correia's voice sets in, singing softly, then the song builds up into a beautifully painful masterpiece and ends again with the kids noises in the background. One of the best songs this year on one of the most remarkable debut albums this year.
"So, my soul, it is time to part."
-René Descartes last words