Review Summary: Another solid album from Kevin Matisyn and co.Band: Parabelle
Album: Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even
If you don't know who Parabelle is, it's probably best to start with their frontman with the signature voice, Kevin Matisyn. He gained a popular following in the band Evans Blue for their first two albums (see the recommended albums on the side) and was voted out of the band before the third album was completed. After that, he formed Parabelle and focused even more on songwriting. In every album that Matisyn has done vocals for, the lyrics have been a primary focus for most listeners.
Now in the album here, Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even
, Parabelle finds a very smooth balance between musicality and lyricism. There isn't a unifying theme to the album, but rather the typical (typical in terms of Matisyn's writing) themes of love, depression, loneliness, and war. The production quality is excellent, with some nice atmospheric elements to supplement the music. The song tempos are generally similar, but the tone of the music contains plenty of variance (check singing/screaming chorus of "Line of Fire").
Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even
gets better as it goes. The first two songs, "Tear the Blue" and "Blisters and Bad Eyes" are typical Parabelle songs that could've been taken from anywhere in Matisyn's discography, and while decent, they sound fairly similar and don't offer anything beyond that until the bridge in the latter song. "Rise" plays out in a similar vein, but much stronger than two previous songs. The vocals are clearly at the front, and the chorus is perfect in its own simple way.
The 4th and 11th tracks, "In the Shadows" and "My Surrender" are absolutely beautiful, both musically and lyrically. "In the Shadows" is about having low self-esteem in a relationship, where the speaker believes they aren't worth their lover. The chorus follows, "And I will leave you in shadows of where I used to be/You won't be afraid/But I was wrong, I lived so you wouldn't be alone/But you deserve better than this, better than this/Don't you know." The chorus is very dynamic and a large improvement from Parabelle's previous album, Re-Assembling the Icons
. The final track, "My Surrender" is another signature Matisyn track with possibly the most poetic one on the record. The song is even more potent than "In the Shadows," and closes the album perfectly.
The drums on Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even
are surprisingly strong, and stand out in a genre where the drums are rarely noteworthy. "Whisper" contains one of the catchiest choruses Parabelle has ever written, and the drums fill in perfectly in rest of the song, especially in the verses. In both "Your Starry Eyes" and "Heaven Like", the drums drive the chorus and offer some unique parts in the verses.
The first single released by the band, "Let It Out", is safe like the first two songs on the record, though with a thundering chorus to help the song stand out. However, the following song, "Line of Fire", may stand out the most on the album. Opening with a dark (albeit basic) guitar riff, the song leaps into this screaming/singing dynamic in the chorus that works in a strange way and opens up a new, heavier direction for Parabelle.
In conclusion, Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even
is a solid effort. Not every song is memorable, but those that are display some of the best work that the band has ever released. They are starting branch into different directions musically and perfecting what they've been doing well for years. If you're already a fan of Parabelle, you'll probably love every song on this album. If you don't know much about them but like mainstream or alternative rock, you'll probably enjoy most of the songs here.
In the Shadows
Your Starry Eyes
*Parabelle has had lots of members in and out, especially drummers, so I'm not quite sure of the current lineup*