Review Summary: Get ready to feel happy.
There’s no denying music can have the ability to stir our deepest emotions. Whether it’s a band we grew up listening to or lyrics that hit us where it hurts, most of us have felt some kind of connection behind our headphones. Formed out of Chicago, 1997 was a pop-rock band that created nostalgic and uplifting tunes that should sit well with most listeners. Not only does their music seem to bring us back to a simpler time, but their debut album ...A Better View of the Rising Moon
makes for a great soundtrack to get us in the mood for Spring.
Fueled by the dual vocals of Kerri Mack and Caleb Pepp, the band’s debut is full of optimism backed by cheerful instruments such as keyboards and bells. They get off to a fantastic start with ‘Water’s Edge’ as it contains delightful vocal harmonies and one of the most upbeat choruses on the album. The two vocalists are the obvious stars of the band and they both possess a strong level of confidence that shines brightly throughout the album’s 12 tracks. However, the instrumentation at hand also adds a lot of character to the band’s sound and thankfully they don't hold anything back on the debut. The standout track ‘The Roads You Can Take’ is packed with hopeful sounding harmonicas and lyrics that are sure to conjure up the best of memories, while other tracks are brought to life by keyboards and shimmering guitars.
Even though 1997 may not have been the most innovative band of their time, the soaring vocal melodies and lively instruments work together to create quite the listening experience. It’s unfortunate they broke up following their third album in 2009, but it’s hard not to admire the band’s hard work and passion and it’s on full display on ...A Better View of the Rising Moon.
It’s a nostalgia-induced ride that any fan of pop-rock or alternative will find hard not to enjoy as the band manages to remind the listener of a better time.