Review Summary: Raw emotion at its finest.
It's not everyday that you come across a new album that immediately resonates with you. Before the first review for The Dark, Dark Bright
was posted, There Will Be Fireworks was about as unknown as they could ever possibly be, but that is no longer. Their second offering showcases a plethora of apparent influences that include the atmospheric elements of The National, the acoustic sections of Neutral Milk Hotel and the soaring climaxes of Sigur Ros. However, the amazing thing about this album is that even though these bands come to mind while listening, The Dark, Dark Bright
still manages to possess a sound of its own and the ending result is nothing short of astounding.
One incredible aspect of this album is how There Will Be Fireworks' lead singer really sells the sincerity of it all. Even though Nicky McManus may not have the most beautiful voice, his raw Scottish brogue is rich in emotion. His soothing and often strained vocals are crucial in delivering just the right amount of emotion in order to make a connection with the listener and 'River' is the best example of this. His vocals are quite strained when the song breaks into a powerful crescendo, but the effect they have really pays off. Whether it be singing in a peaceful manner or passionately holding a note, he gives an incredibly unique performance. It may be a little risky, but it's safe to say the album would be lost without it.
While the vocals are indeed important, the listener will easily be stunned even more by the music. It's raw, beautiful, and the perfect combination of indie rock and post rock which is often a combination that is tough to pull off with finesse. Ranging from masterfully textured songs like "Here Is Where" and calming acoustic songs like "The Good Days," the album is bursting at the seams with variety. The music works perfectly with the extremely touching, heartbreaking, and often uplifting lyrics. "The Good Days" only consists of great vocalizing and layers of acoustic guitar, but it works wonders because of the sad message about loss, sadness, and longing for what used to be they so successfully convey. In fact these lyrical themes are recurring throughout the whole album and you can't help but feel when listening to this because these aspects of life that we have all felt at some point. 'Your House Is Aglow' also conveys the same amount of emotion as "The Good Days" because of Nicky's absolutely emotional vocals. As well done as these acoustic sections are, "The Dark, Dark Bright" really specializes in the soaring and unforgettable climaxes.
"River," an undeniable fan favorite, starts out with incredibly textured guitar riffs and a brooding rhythm section. This all explodes into an amazing crescendo that without a doubt transcends. The effect of every texture coming full circle and Nicky holding a powerful note can't be done justice with words. "Here Is Where," another album highlight, makes some of the best use of strings that has been seen in music for quite some time. After well over three minutes of diverse guitar riffs and masterfully sung lyrics about human nature, they come in literally out of nowhere. Once the strings taper off and the song ends, you will be at a loss for words. It's without a doubt an inspiring masterpiece and they should be proud to have the songwriting chops to write something this affecting.
It's a shame that the album of the years lists are already done for 2013. If this wasn't overlooked at the time of when it came out, it would have easily been a contender. There is a staggering amount of undiscovered talent out there that is passionate about their art and There Will Be Fireworks is one of them. The Dark, Dark Bright
is so easy to connect with that the listener can't help but be mesmerized and thrilled while listening. Do not pass this gem up because this is fantastic undiscovered music at its finest and it deserves your full attention.