The World Is a Beautiful Place...
Harmlessness


5.0
classic

Review

by Lettuce USER (5 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2015 | 808 replies


Release Date: 09/25/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We are as harmless as the thoughts in our heads.

The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die were in a situation that many bands find themselves in leading up to the release of their sophomore full-length album. Having achieved resounding critical success with their debut album, it was unsure whether they would be able to craft a meaningful follow-up, and capitalize on the success of Whenever, If Ever. After releasing a string of unexciting and mediocre EPs, I’m glad to say that The World is a Beautiful Place… have found their way back to emo-revival perfection.

First things first; Harmlessness is long. Fifty three minutes and forty seconds long, to be exact. Yet despite the near hour long runtime, there is hardly a dull moment to be found on the album. From the acoustic opener “You Can’t Live There Forever” to the immense and beautiful eight-minute closer “Mount Hum”, nearly every song brings something fresh and interesting to the table, preventing the album from becoming stale and maintaining the listener’s interest. Each and every note of every single song feels like a necessary and important factor towards the albums success. Adding to the effectiveness of the album, is the way each song seamlessly weaves its way into the next, creating a sense of cohesion that wasn’t present on Whenever, If Ever.

Lyrically, The World is a Beautiful Place… maintain the same hopeful existentialist mindset that was present throughout Whenever, If Ever. They express feelings of doubt, and worry, all the while putting a positive spin on them, invoking feelings of hope and optimism. The lyrics here are both incredibly personal and endlessly relatable; the only exception being early album highlight and first single, “January 10th, 2014” which details the story of Diana, the Hunter of Bus Drivers. Here, The World is a Beautiful Place… completely astound lyrically, and with the departure of their original vocalist, new frontman David Bello and keyboardist Katie Shanholtzer-Dvorak trade off beautifully written, conversational lyrics that detail the story of Diana.

There is an apparent post-rock influence in the instrumentation on Harmlessness. While this is nothing new to the band, The World is a Beautiful Place… have managed to take the immense buildups and bombastic climaxes of their debut and elevate them into a completely new level. Almost every song on the album features an enormous and emotional climax, and while it may seem as if they would begin to lose their impact, The World is a Beautiful Place… circumnavigate this problem with the expertly crafted and abundant softer sections, adding a greater contrast in sound and increasing the impact of each crescendo.

Each aspect of Harmlessness is perfectly executed throughout the entire album, but the band reaches newfound levels of songwriting maturity on the final two tracks of the album. Making up roughly fifteen minutes of the albums runtime, the last two tracks take every instrumental and lyrical nuance The World is a Beautiful Place… picked up over the last two years and perfectly combines them into a satisfying finish. Penultimate track “I Can Be Afraid of Anything” nearly feels like the end of the album as it builds into its fast, uplifting, punky outro. Yet, it is the closer, “Mount Hum” that perfectly wraps up the album. As it sinks into one last soft and quiet section, you are lured into false sense of closure until layers upon layers of both instruments and vocals are added and the album explodes into its most lush and full moment, with David Bello belting out lyrics reminiscent of Whenever, If Ever’s closer, “Getting Sodas.”

The World is a Beautiful Place… have managed to surpass their debut in almost every single way. As the final song builds into its gorgeous and extremely climactic finish, it’s difficult to not be in complete awe. What they have managed to craft here is an absolutely beautiful piece of art, and fans of the band or genre owe it to themselves to add this to their collection.



user ratings (488)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


19670 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well written review but I don't agree with your 5 rating...

I still have to give this album a couple more listens but its probably around a 3.7-4.2 range.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


39405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

^ generic snoxall unhappiness itt



Album is good for sure, cut a few songs and it'd be better. You Can't Live There Forever is fucking sublime

Digging: The Used - The Canyon

Lettuce
September 23rd 2015


133 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I could see this album being even better with a song or two cut. But for me, completely subjectively, this is definitely a 5.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


39405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

If it went straight from The Word Lisa to Mental Health it'd be like a 4.5 for me

Lettuce
September 23rd 2015


133 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn, Ra Patera Dance is one of my favorite tracks!

Tunaboy45
September 23rd 2015


15609 Comments


Maaaaaybe I'll listen to this but there's a lot of things putting me off this band

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

Tunaboy45
September 23rd 2015


15609 Comments


the name? grow up dude

oh dear

Cygnatti
September 23rd 2015


32005 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

decently excited for this tbh

enedwaith
September 23rd 2015


1865 Comments


lol

Storm In A Teacup
September 23rd 2015


22229 Comments


Now that is a band name

Artuma
September 23rd 2015


29119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"its better than all their past stuff. their male singer isn't a winy piece of trash now"



their past stuff is a lot better than this imo, i loved those whiny vox

adr
September 23rd 2015


11791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is too fucking long, but it's pretty nice, some really good songs mixed with some boredom bedroom indie

initforthelisten
September 23rd 2015


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well-written, though I feel as though the expression could have been a bit clearer at times, and I wish you'd have used more specific examples. Other than that, for the most part I agree with you. Good review. And loving this so far - 'January 10th' is one of my favourite songs so far this year.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

53 minutes isn't that long but nonetheless, review is well written if a bit a little hyperbolic. This just doesn't do it for me that much

bakkermaarten007
September 23rd 2015


5285 Comments


Sounds decent on first listen. Can't imagine why they'd choose such artwork. New singer is much better imo

dimsim3478
September 23rd 2015


7697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New singer is much better imo


I liked old singer way better tbh

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


15787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i knew i'd like this and i did yay!

Toondude10
September 23rd 2015


11600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like this more than the debut

Digging: Face The King - Once More Is All I Am

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


39405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

they changed singers? sounds the same to me

DinosaurJones
September 23rd 2015


6177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely need to check this out.

Digging: And So I Watch You From Afar - The Endless Shimmering



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