Rich People
Harmony


4.0
excellent

Review

by BlushfulHippocrene STAFF
August 13th, 2020 | 18 replies


Release Date: 08/07/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If the weather ever withers up your vine

Sometimes I feel like I dreamt up Rich People. Though little goes on by way of innovation of the emo or alt-rock genres, there’s something about the band’s music that just feels right. Not an ease but a naturalness. Take ‘Cold Sweat’, the closing track on 2015’s Jacob’s Ladder. What should be a seven-minute snoozer of a song feels more like an impassioned avowal, a renewal of hope in the trope of the soft-strummed closer. It refuses to open up into the enveloping wall of sound that one might expect, that characterises much of the earlier album. But Robert Rich’s narrative is captivating back-to-front; his inconsistent slips into the third-person from the first- are nothing short of charming. So ‘Cold Sweat’ is Jacob’s Ladder’s deepest, its final breath. It’s the sleepiness, the dreaminess, of a long drive or taxing night. It’s a perfect end to an imperfect album.

Harmony likewise is full of imperfections. Like Jacob’s Ladder before it, it’s far from innovative. Indeed, in terms of songwriting, much of Harmony feels like a rehash; its melodic and lyrical references to Jacob’s Ladder run the risk of being lost in equally derivative melodies and lyrics. To the extent that Harmony does innovate on its predecessor, however, most strikingly in the cleanness, the poppiness of its production, it does so with a disarming abundance of clarity and awareness. On opener ‘Contrast’, for example, which introduces the most pivotal of the album’s dichotomies, Rich asks: “So change, or stay the same?” The answer, of course, is both, or neither: “Let us all be one now”. That the question follows the first of the album’s many call-backs, however—lyrically, the song references Jacob’s Ladder opener ‘Perfect Friends’; sonically, it harkens back to that album’s emotive, soft-loud dynamism—is striking. That it’s succeeded by the first of the album’s excursions into a poppier alternative sound is no less significant.

At times I wish Harmony had the narrative clarity of an Albatross, or a mid-era Menzingers album. That isn’t to say the album is void of highlights: the aforementioned ‘Contrast’ calls to mind ‘Post Virgin’ (to my mind, a perfect emo song) from the too-much-mentioned Jacob’s Ladder; ‘Fairmount’ is a heartbreaking ballad that details the aftermath of an overdose, and on which Rich’s vocals are at constant risk of falling through the cracks of dissonant piano (miraculously, they never do); the seamlessness with which the band move into and through ‘Downtown’’s various parts is some sort of magic... I could, of course, go on; that the album manages this unity without any obvious unifying narrative is absolutely impressive, and not at all beside the point. Harmony is rambly and discursive, neither stuck in the past nor fully able to escape it—and why should it? There’s an honesty at the heart of it—a deep, deep empathy, for itself and those around it—one that makes up for, fills in the cracks of, even the most obvious of flaws. It’s a dreaminess, a naturalness, a richness.




Recent reviews by this author
Adrianne Lenker songsLomelda Hannah
Emily Keener I Do Not Have To Be GoodThe Smith Street Band Don't Waste Your Anger
clipping. There Existed an Addiction to BloodFoxhall Shoreside
user ratings (20)
3.6
great
related reviews

Grace Session


Comments:Add a Comment 
Snake.
August 13th 2020


22480 Comments


oh fuck i had no idea this was a thing

DDDeftoneDDD
August 13th 2020


13996 Comments


2 rates...it is now XD

Digging: Wake - Confluence

BigTuna
August 13th 2020


5445 Comments


Jacob knows a ladder you can climb

Digging: Sam Amidon - Sam Amidon

Slex
August 13th 2020


10406 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oi wots this then

Digging: Gulfer - Gulfer

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2020


29353 Comments


nice summary ref

Digging: Tricot - 10

Sunnyvale
August 13th 2020


1808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listening now, this rules so far

heck
August 13th 2020


4903 Comments


raise this band's taxes

Project
August 13th 2020


4441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

mwY in the summary plus Jimmy Eat World and Athletics and Brand New in the similar bands section?



well this sounds like exactly my thing, great review



edit: three tracks in and I am loving this

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
August 13th 2020


20469 Comments


blush yess!!

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2020


3475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What are people's favourites? :3

If anyone doesn't mind this but isn't quite sold, would recommend Post Virgin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2EagBDzjHo

Project
August 14th 2020


4441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

on first listen, Joy Notes hit me the hardest, but I owe this more spins

Slex
August 14th 2020


10406 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I hate how polished this production is : /

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 14th 2020


36095 Comments


This band sounds right up my alley. I'll try to find time to give this a spin as well as Jacob's Ladder.

Digging: Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic

nightbringer
August 15th 2020


1486 Comments


I got lured in by the mwY quote and now I'm in this thread.

joshieboy
August 16th 2020


7807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to their EP a bit when it came out and enjoyed it. Had no idea this was coming out so this is a nice surprise. Will definitely check

Digging: Movements - No Good Left To Give

dbizzles
August 18th 2020


14413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hi, Blush!!!!!!!!!!!!



I don't know how much I like this yet. Seems like I should like it more, not sure what's keeping me from it though. It almost sounds... too familiar, but I can't put my finger on why.

Digging: Bendrix Littleton - Deep Dark South

joshieboy
August 19th 2020


7807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think l like the EP a little more than this, but this is still fun

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2020


3475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Big dick bizzles, I miss u. :3



I totally get what you mean, I think. Biggest problem with their music -- especially this album -- is it's far from distinct: if I had to give a totally unflattering description, I'd say it sounds like Balance and Composure or [insert any/most alt-rock/emo band with clean vocals], minus any bite or aggression. Think there's something very, very special and heartfelt about it, though, if you manage a connection with it.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy