Review Summary: Listener beware: this album is amazing.
Until I heard this record, I was struggling to find any new artists I had never heard of, who also have a unique sound and style. In comes Crying, a band from Purchase, NY. I had never heard any of their music until their LP Beyond the Fleeting Gales. From my understanding, they had much more of a chiptune/rock sound on their previous releases. I applaud the stylistic shift they have made on their latest record, as they have really refined their sound into something that is so refreshing. The best aspect of this album is how wide of an appeal it has. People can enjoy it for being a fun and upbeat record, and can appreciate how different it sounds from most contemporary “upbeat” pop songs they hear on the radio.
On BTFG, Crying have mixed aspects of low-fi production, synth-pop, and progressive and pop rock. There are more influences found, but for the most part these are the main styles you can generally hear. Some songs have a bit more of a rock edge to them, such as “Premonitory Dream,” “Revive,” and “Patriot,” with their distorted guitar riffs and punchy choruses. They also have moments where the synths take more of a front seat and have a poppier sound, like in “Wool in the Wash” and “Children of the Wind.” In the rest of the songs, they incorporate aspects of both different sounds in without a real dominating style. The group does a fantastic job of meshing the two styles so smoothly, and the low-fi production gives it such a unique garage-esque sound. I genuinely have a hard time finding any real aspects of their sound that didn’t sit well with me throughout the album. From the ethereal and atmospheric “Well and Spring” to the progressive, fun and upbeat “Origin,” The mixing and instrumentation is so well executed that everything shines through and adds so much texture to these tracks. The only thing that could remotely be a complaint, is that sometimes, such as in the chorus and birdge of “There was a Door,” the different synths and guitars got somewhat muddled because of how much is going on at once, but I don’t think it is really annoying or holds any of the songs back at all.
The only place that holds the album back at all really is the songwriting in a few of the later songs, “Children of the Wind” and “The Curve” specifically. The former is one of my favorite songs on the album, but I can see how a listener might find it boring and repetitive, as it is does have a ballad-typical structure and not as much going on as the rest of the album’s tracks. “The Curve,” on the other hand, has a funny little 80’s rock riff opening, and is trying to be a “big finish” closing song, but apart from the riff, it really just sounds like more of what we heard earlier on the album, and doesn’t bring much to the table to make it a cool closer. Not that either of these songs are bad, they just hold it back as a whole from being a 5.
If you haven’t given this a listen, I highly recommend you do, no matter what kind of music you enjoy.