Coffee shops, local bars, and street corners are just a few places where one can hear music in its purest formâ"acoustic guitar and an artist baring his or her soul for only few to hear. In a nutshell, that is what Nick Flora brings to the table. His music is neither groundbreaking nor inspiring; however, in his own way, he conveys emotions that we all feel on daily basisâ"love, hope, nostalgia, and even a little cynicism.
The Great Escape begins this journey of everyday emotions with the fifty-four second track âThose Were The Daysâ. The song sets the tone for the whole album. With lines such as, âI ruled the world back when I was young,â or âneedless to say I stand here today a sentimental man,â the listener is taken back to a time where life was simpler.
Following the opener, Flora hits a speed bump with the title track and âOur Best By Farâ. Both songs incorporate the use of a full band. The addition of a full band in these two songs proves to be a hindrance on Floraâs ability to portray any real emotion, making the songs feel contrived. They seem to be lazy attempts at writing catchy pop songs.
The album begins to pick up with the following two songs: âThe Olâ College Tryâ and âAttentionâ. This set of songs, although, still with the use of a full band, finds Flora settling into a certain comfort zone. However, there still is a sense that something is missing; that this is not the best Flora has to offer; and, then comes the latter half of the album.
Beginning with âIâll Take Punctualityâ, the latter half of the album begins to showcase the full potential of Nick Flora. With just him and his acoustic guitar, he crafts a song that is beautiful in the simplest of ways. With lines like, âfunny how things change, but others stand the test of time,â âin a world of inconsistency Iâll take punctuality and pick you up on time,â âall this time Iâve been fighting to get back to a time when I was maybe four or five, such a simpler life.â Although they are not the most innovative lyrics, they do exactly what they were written to doâ"take the listener back to when complexity of life and love were unknown.
âSummersongâ and âEdward Applebyâ further the momentum that âIâll Take Punctualityâ creates, and guides the listener to the upbeat âHasnât Felt Like Homeâ; which, like âGreat Escapeâ and âOur Best By Farâ, is intended to have a pop feel to it. And, unlike those, Flora is able to craft a melody and lyrics that show great pop sensibility. The album then closes out with the melancholy of âRight Beside Meâ.
Great Escape has its ups and downs, and there are obvious growing pains for Flora. But, underneath the inconsistency, there is a simple beauty, the same simple beauty that can be found in day-to-day life.