Review Summary: An effective debut dispite its flaws.
A successful debut album establishes an identity for a band. The debut should, in theory, be the groundwork used to elevate future albums to success. In this case, Picturesque successfully finds their identity throughout the running time of Back to Beautiful
, even if it is immensely niche.
Two things easily stick out to differentiate Picturesque from debuting bands in 2017: their lead singer and their exquisite chorus construction. Lead singer, Kyle Hollis, has an extremely unique voice. His register is stupefyingly high and specific runs on songs such as "New Face." Unlike most high register males however, Hollis is not afraid to belt and wail, showcasing some necessary power within his performance. Admittedly, Hollis high register has the ability to discourage listeners since he is the driving force in many of the songs. Despite this, Kyle Hollis is the biggest highlight of album and the band's biggest asset for their identity. Despite some strong riffs on songs "Who We Are" and "Waiting," the instrumentals don't stand out much in structure or complexity. What does stand out, however, is Picturesque's ability to craft ear worm chorus after ear worm chorus. Songs such as "Honestly," "Who We Are," and "New Face" become the most memorable songs on the album because of their innate sing-along-style delivery and structure.
While there are many enjoyable aspects, the album's flaws are quite apparent. The glossy production is lacking bass and teeters on being overproduced. This kneecaps many riffs while the rhythm section leaves little impression. In general, the album possess and unbalanced tendency with its focus on highs and negligence of lows. Furthermore, Hollis' voice is the center of attention on most songs, there are many moments in which more complex or generally interesting instrumentation would've elevate the album aurally. In addition, certain songs are overtly repetitive and force a chorus, such as the opener "Fake Fiction" or the song "One Of Us." These respective songs burn choruses into the minds of listeners not on their merit of quality. Instead the choruses are reminded only for their repetition. Songs of this variety are weak and skippable and bring down what is an otherwise impressive debut.
Picturesque solidified their sound with Back to Beautiful
. They specialize in immensely catchy choruses and the unique and talented vocal performance from Kyle Hollis. Most complaints, however, such as the band not harmonizing, rudimentary song composition, or unfitting production can be contributed to the overall problems of a debut. Back to Beautiful
cements firm groundwork for the band's future outings whilst delivering a respectable album in its own right.