Review Summary: Even worse than its artwork.
I think I can speak for many of us when I say that serial killer documentaries are interesting. Their superficial insights into the minds of twisted people is a great way to kill (heh) time. For this exact reason, I spent an entire evening watching the ‘Behind The Scenes’ videos of Sleeping With Sirens’ new album Gossip
. What was going on in the head of Kellin Quinn and whoever else is in that band when they wrote the songs that ended up on the album? What inspired the pop “rockers” to create one of the worst albums of this year?
While definitely worse than their first two albums, I quite enjoyed some songs off Feel
. At times, Sleeping With Sirens was able to create a perfect balance between poppy choruses and more aggressive, guitar driven verses. Even when the band gave in to ripping off riffs or bland drumming, Kellin Quinn’s vocal range had the ability to make songs bearable. Which brings us to the first noticeable problem with Gossip
: Kellin sounds terribly restrained. Besides this, he often tries to sing in a lower key and clearly struggles to produce any interesting sounds. Even when Empire To Ashes
seems to build up to something engaging with some raspier vocals, the song turns to a lazy ***ing ‘woah-oh’ instead. According to the ‘Behind The Gossip’ videos, producer David Bendeth made the vocalist feel very comfortable during the recording process, which is very evident considering the incredibly dull performance. Mr. Bendeth, known for having produced other life-changing records such as Of Mice & Men’s Cold World
, forces his lifeless production upon Gossip
to minimise any chance of succeeding this record might have had in the first place.
However, let’s be real: this record didn’t have a chance anyway. It’s genuinely impressive how Gossip
fails to have a single redeeming factor. Sleeping With Sirens is embracing the fact that it is very much the Kellin Quinn show by replacing almost all instruments with electronically produced sounds. Who needs dull drumming when you can have a single lifeless electronic drumbeat throughout the entire goddamn record? Occasionally, the band decides to throw in a guitar, most likely for the sole purpose of them being able to call themselves a “rock band”. The highlight of Gossip
comes in the form of a boring riff on The Chase
, which is naturally abandoned after about ten seconds.
Another remarkable achievement is the fact that Sleeping With Sirens attempted to fit 11 anthems into one album, but didn’t succeed to write one memorable hook. While their try-hard singalong choruses may not have been perfect in the past, songs like Kick Me
at least had a bit of a fun factor. Lead single Legends
is the perfect example of the many failed anthems on Gossip
; the horrendous repeated ‘woah-oh’s are neither catchy nor fun, and become annoying before the 30 second mark. Almost every chorus follows a similar chorus simply repeating a line several times. Besides this, a lot of verses on the album sound eerily similar to those of their song ‘Roger Rabbit’, just a whole lot less acoustic and listenable.
While everything about Gossip
is terrible, the absolute worst thing about this record is the lyrical content. Kellin Quinn had the nerve to imply that the album is full of social commentary, seeing as ‘the band has a platform to do so’. On the first lyrics of the title track, this important social commentary comes in the form of Kellin making it seem like he wants to be sucked off on his brand new backyard swing: “I've got this new thing, I've got a new swing / I'll make you fall to your knees, I'll make your heart sing / I'll turn the lights out, I'm gonna get down”. Sleeping With Sirens’ lyrics have always been aimed to ‘the outcasts’, but never as mind-numbingly lazy as on Cheers
, where Kellin simply lists different names for these outcasts and slaps the title of their sophomore album on it as the chorus. While it’d be possible to go through every single song and list their embarrassing lyrical content, the most inspirational moment comes in the form of ‘Closer’s chorus: "I've been on my own, I've been feeling low / The bruises left will never ever show, no, no / And I'm letting it go, go, woah". ***ing poetry.
Don’t listen to this album. Gossip
is a bad album through and through. Go do anything that is not supporting this album or band. Poor 2018 Olympic USA Team.