Trophy Eyes
The American Dream


4.0
excellent

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
August 4th, 2018 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a song in my head for all the places i've known

For a moment, I want to talk about “Breathe You In”, the seventh track from Trophy Eyes’ excellent Chemical Miracle, because I’ve never heard another song quite like it. The vocal melody and accompanying music are both great, but they don’t make the song unique. What makes it exceptional is John Floreani’s willingness to lay himself bare in a way that floored me the first time I listened to it. In Floreani’s hands, friendship becomes more vital than air, more urgently needed than anything else. It is almost erotic in nature, or maybe it is deeper than eroticism could ever be. “Lay with me, my friends. Let me breathe you in,” he sings. No greater love hath man than this, etc., etc.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I became invested in this band because of lyrics and feelings like that, and I am not bothered by the particular muscles of the music as long as that skeleton is still there. On The American Dream, it is. Floreani himself addresses any impending “sellout” accusations with lead single “You Can Count on Me”, grousing (albeit good-naturedly) that he has made emotional sacrifices to create this music, and if he keeps doing that, he can’t possibly sell out. It’s undoubtedly risky to preemptively address criticism, but the song is tongue-in-cheek enough to work, and there are kernels of wisdom in his lines about making music for anybody willing to receive it, not just for those who have liked the band in the past.

The harsh vocals and ripping punk qualities are, for the most part, absent. However, despite the lack of aggression, some of these songs are genuinely thrilling. While the musicians of Trophy Eyes are all skilled, it is Floreani that continually gives his all, as if he is slamming his body up against every song until he merges with them. At the end of the second verse in “Friday Forever”, he draws out the word “stars” and turns it into a scream. It’s just low enough in the mix that I didn’t really notice it at first. Now I find myself anticipating it. The first time I heard him scream, “You’re gonna FUCKING MISS ME!” in “I Can Feel It Calling”, my heart rate palpably sped up along with the music. “Lavender Bay” throws a bunch of pop-punk clichés at the wall – from Fall Out Boy-esque “da da da’s” to handclaps in the background – and makes them stick through sheer commitment, which saves the song from being a gimmick. Even the opener “Autumn”, although it does not feature harsh vocals, is electrifying simply because it was so exciting to start a new Trophy Eyes album.

Some have poked fun at the music video for “Friday Forever” – in which a crop-top clad Floreani emotes in front of a dance studio mirror – for lacking the other Trophy Eyes members and for Floreani’s aesthetic choices. Perhaps it is a little strange. But there is also that same vulnerability in the video that originally drew me to “Breathe You In”. “Don’t let anyone see that you’re broken,” he sings in “Broken”. “I don’t have any answers for you, kid,” he sings in “Autumn”. Given the overall message of Trophy Eyes’ music, I don’t really see ego in the video as much as I see Floreani psyching himself up to move and dance on stage. I see the joy on his face as he tests the peculiar waters of performance. And I don’t feel silly for being affected by the video, or by his journey to find himself, still searching for the light inside before it goes out.



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user ratings (88)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
chris. (3.5)
Don't let no sad songs rot your brain...

FreddieDelaney31 (2)
More like you, less like me....


Comments:Add a Comment 
FreddieDelaney31
August 3rd 2018


4813 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Well holy shit

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JustJoe.
August 3rd 2018


5130 Comments


Chan the Man writes a great review & today is a day of the week.

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ianblxdsoe
August 3rd 2018


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

amazing review chan, even if i can’t really stand the album itself lol

McTime50
August 3rd 2018


588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. Great review chan.

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McTime50
August 3rd 2018


588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with just about everything in this review. What made Trophy Eyes appeal to me more was the honest and bare emotion, not the hardcore sound or harsh vocals.



The American Dream may be a complete departure from the sound that fans grew to love and worship, but the bones of the emotional words and impact the band bring to the table still support the whole thing.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 3rd 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

Breathe You In is a stellar song to be sure



Nice, conscise review! Gonna give this another shot later

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Honest1234
August 3rd 2018


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Floreani is Genuine for sure. One of the best vocalists. Even when I first heard trophy eyes in the song "Hourglass" when he sounded like a melodic hardcore singer, he was the reason I felt this band had potential to become something. It took around 3-4 years until that potential was finally recognized. I agree with you a lot. Even if musically, a lot of the ideas in these songs, especially with "Broken" sounding like clocks by Coldplay or Friday Forever using those delayed guitars and a chorus that sounds like something blink 182 would do in their more modern albums, and gang vocals reminiscent of 30 seconds to mars, Floreani just does something that makes these songs feel fresh. Even the lyrics feel so genuine which makes the simplicity fine. It's like the point gets across so well. I mean lots of people don't like this album and I've seen albums from the same genre get higher scores that I don't find super special but hey I guess that's what happens when you take a big risk.

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 4th 2018


28118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. Still need to check Chemical Miracle before I get to this.

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dmp3131
August 4th 2018


1309 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Breathe You In is a killer track, and the one that sticks out on Chemical Miracle the most too since its pretty much the softest one on the album. It still fits perfectly.



I was super disappointed with this earlier today when I listened, and I don't know if its the album, or me being disappointed because CM rips every time. I'll have to listen again and see if something catches me, but half of the songs I remember were just plain bad. Best thing I noticed though was the catchiness of some of the songs, despite not being groundbreaking. Friday Forever is so generic and its been stuck in my head since it came out, so its a weird combination of feelings for this.

Storm In A Teacup
August 4th 2018


24063 Comments


Quite a change from Breathe You In to Friday Forever in nearly all aspects and watching the music videos only amplifies and adds differences.

Lefondre
August 4th 2018


164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is decent but doesn't hold a candle to CM. Cool to see a Chan review though!

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

I’ve got a soft spot for being fucked up/I’ve spent years alone and unloved. But I made it out/and I’m happy now. I’m your friend, I’m your lover/I’m your brother, I’m your son



love this part and the second half of “You Can Count On Me” when the guitars really kick into gear. I think I took that track too seriously before but I’m starting to really like it. still have mixed feelings on the album but I’m finding more to enjoy with each listen. “Chemical Miracle” was just such a heavy album lyrically that this new approach didn’t feel that genuine at first but I’m changing my mind. Seems he just wanted to have fun with this one. Might not ever reach the emotional highs of CM for me, but I could see it growing into a great album

dannooo28
August 4th 2018


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've listened to this album a few times trying to come up with my rating, and I think I'll probably settle with a 3.5 or so. I went in knowing it wouldn't be on par with Chemical Miracle, that'd be irrational. It's pop rock-ish, but it's still a good album. Autumn, Tip Toe, Miming In the Choir, and I Can Feel It Calling are my favorites. There's also highlights for me when John screams in You Can Count On Me and More Like You, and the verses of Friday Forever. It's honestly a solid album, just some of it sounds a little forced. I have higher hopes for their next release though, because these guys are obviously very talented.

JayEnder
August 4th 2018


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another chan comeback review!? Excellent job as always man. My thoughts on this album, however, are polarising to say the least. On one hand, I find these new songs really catchy and well written, but on the other I really wish they kept pushing themselves with that Chemical Miracle sound. The hardcore aggression mixed with melody on that album was the perfect sound for them. Now that they’ve dropped that raw aggression almost completely, they’ve become just another solid “pop punk” band.

McTime50
August 4th 2018


588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pop rock may be more fitting at this point

Dedicated1
August 4th 2018


73 Comments


Good review and thoroughly agree with the rating! Album of the year for me so far. Just cannot deny it's addictiveness, and love seeing a band take risks that pay off.

alamo
August 4th 2018


388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you can count on me bridge hits hard

JayEnder
August 4th 2018


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I SPENT YEARS ALONE AND UNLOVED BUT I MADE IT OUT AND IM HAPPY NOW IM YOUR FRIEND IM YOUR BROTHER IM YOUR LOVER IM YOUR SONNNNNNNN

dub sean
August 4th 2018


1000 Comments


seems like Trophy Eyes is less of a band now and more just the John F & Friends show.

i hate it, thanks

JesperL
August 5th 2018


297 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it actually makes me kinda sad how much praise this record is getting (mainly on twitter). I'm glad people are enjoying it, but backlash would be preferable to me as it might mean they'll return to being.. good on the next record lmao



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