Review Summary: What’s your favorite way to dull the pain?
Perhaps one of my biggest grievances with modern society in America is this dogmatic pursuit of happiness. It sounds odd to say a concept that many of us accept unquestioningly is problematic, but there it is. In our never-ending search for joy unending, we undermine the inherent value of the stunning spectrum of human emotion that colors everyday life. Anger, sadness, vulnerability, sincerity, all sacrificed at the altar of happiness.
It is chiefly for this reason among all others that Tigers Jaw holds such a special place in my heart. Their songs have always resonated with me as being stunningly genuine. On Spin
, Ben and Brianna face the endless anxieties, weaknesses, and heartbreaks that punctuate life fearlessly. Hearts on their sleeves, harmonized melodies soaring, Spin
builds on their already impressive discography, and punches well above its weight class, even as a major label debut.
In a world seemingly obsessed to death with contentment, opulence, and excess, Tigers Jaw’s trademark mid-tempo melodic style of indie rock champions vulnerability without coming off as needlessly self-indulgent. In a flawless wedding of upbeat instrumentals and contemplative vocals, Spin
pulls the emotive concept away from its tired trope of dreary, rainy-day soundscapes.
Songs like “Follows,” “Favorite,” and “Oh Time” reminisce on the style that first made old fans fall for Tigers Jaw, while demonstrating clear progression, no doubt carefully fostered by producer Will Yip. Previous albums contained songs with varying degrees of excellence, but Spin
feels almost entirely stacked with at-once strikingly memorable earworms that aren’t nearly as reliant on the band’s stellar melodic capabilities.
With lyrics that are easily relatable and digestible, Spin
will pull you in and win you over before you know it. Two, three, and four listens will pass without your even noticing. Armed with the catchiness of the most saccharine pop song, the album cements the idea in my mind that Tigers Jaw is the artistic embodiment of that one friend you have who’s going through some tough times, but you wish with all your heart that they succeed. Don’t call it a magnum opus, but don’t be surprised if Spin
sits highly on more than a couple best of 2017 lists.