Really From
Really From


3.5
great

Review

by Jack Mancuso CONTRIBUTOR (69 Reviews)
December 17th, 2021 | 30 replies


Release Date: 03/03/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I swear I'm really from here

The artists formerly known as People Like You leave behind not only a name, but a history. Before re-entering the scene as Really From, they had released two full-length records and steadily built up a fanbase in the Boston music scene over the course of four long years. Really From, their first full-length release associated with their new identity, is a record well acquainted with the power of history. Trauma, discrimination, hatred, hurtful conversations looping on replay in your mind — these are the weighty spaces the group find themselves in on this record, juxtaposed against the bright, jazz fusion-influenced brand of emo and indie rock they’ve offered across each era of their career. With each song offering a new and intriguing listening experience, Really From ends up being a mixed bag in terms of both content and quality. However, its stronger moments indicate scores of potential and have me eagerly anticipating the direction Really From take in the future, provided that direction has a more singular focus.

Really From’s greatest strength is undoubtedly its lyricism, which manages to tackle complex social issues without ever veering into the melodramatic territory that emo lyrics sometimes find themselves occupying. The power and exactitude of Chris Lee-Rodriguez and Michi Tassey’s writing allows the message of the music to sit front and center where it belongs, to powerful emotional effect. The narratives dealing with issues of belonging are perhaps the most gutting of them all; take “I’m From Here” as an example, a harrowing look at the deck being stacked against a young minority child before they even understand the world around them. Isolation once again takes center stage on both “Yellow Fever” and “Try Lingual”, the latter standing out as one of the most powerful articulations of poor communication that I’ve ever read; but it’s “In the Spaces” that manifests itself as the nail in the coffin, a resigned sigh of a track that acknowledges a sinister truth. No amount of assimilation, fitting in, or belonging can ever make that young child whole again. The wounds of trauma may eventually stop bleeding, but they never cease to fester.

Musically, the record occasionally matches its lyrical prowess, but also stumbles on multiple fronts. The aforementioned “In the Spaces” could have ended up as one of the best songs of this year with a more engaging arrangement, instead settling for a highly repetitive vocal melody and run-of-the-mill breezy keyboard atmosphere. Closer “The House” ends the record on an unsatisfying and puzzling note, building itself around a grating “doo doo-doo” hook and a strangely produced acoustic strumming pattern. The magic on the record happens when Really From fully and unashamedly commit themselves to their schtick, combining angular emo riffs with flourishes of fusion jazz. The album’s first two tracks, “Apartment Song” and “Quirk”, stand out as the major highlights for this very reason. The former eases the listener into the album’s environment with a tranquil vocal prelude before blossoming into a gorgeous instrumental, while the latter fires on all cylinders and unfolds into a beautiful brushstroke of a track reminiscent of Britain’s Clever Girl, an act whose disappearance I will mourn for the remainder of my days on this earth. Trumpeter Matt Hull and drummer Sander Bryce shine especially bright on these cuts, propelling them into transcendent territory.

Really From is an important record, and a few artistic choices away from being truly great. I genuinely believe a masterpiece of an album is in this band’s near future, and that its blueprints exist at several points within this record’s tracklist. In more ways than one, it’s exciting to watch this group of artists reclaim their identity, and I look forward to watching them hone the niche they’ve carved out for themselves even further.



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user ratings (52)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

turns out grad school is a metric buttload of work, but trying to get back to reviewing semi-regularly

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Odal
December 17th 2021


653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This has been a comfort record for me this year. I've returned to it a lot and think these group deserves more attention. They will absolutely drop a masterpiece in their future.



Great review.

SteakByrnes
December 17th 2021


25981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't remember this album at all but I do remember it being kinda cool!



Nice review big yoyojack I should give this a refresher spin

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YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Odal ye I was surprised this hadn’t been reviewed yet, they seem primed to get big

rabidfish
December 17th 2021


7198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i liked this, then i forgot about it, then i relistened and liked it again.

Digging: Locust - Morning Light

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ I discovered it this week but I can see this happening to me

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2021


3887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lovely review. I find this album/band really frustrating: So much to like, but cannot stand the emo vocals / influence.

brainmelter
December 18th 2021


7733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yea this need a review

well written write up, much love from your district 6 brother

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YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@BlushfulHippocrene The emo vocals can definitely be a bit much, especially on the last song. I like Michi’s voice a lot more than Chris’s



@brainmelter District 6 GANG

Josh D.
December 18th 2021


16996 Comments


This is has cool stuff on it.

GreyShadow
December 18th 2021


5557 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

listened to Quirk (best here by a mile) a lot at the beginning of the year after rediscovering these guys as a huge I Kill Giants fan

i feel like compositionally their output is a little too mild for me but still a cool project



anyone who likes the more emo sound that's here should check I Kill Giants asap, the guitarist's old band. they are the best band.

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notkanyewest
December 18th 2021


156 Comments


I loved their 2017 record but this on first listen I wasn't feeling it and then kind of let it pass me by, maybe should give it another go

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Grey Quirk is definitely my favorite. Didn’t know about I Kill Giants, will check



@notkanyewest I only skimmed that album as research for this review, but I can vouch for this one, it’s worth your time!

notkanyewest
December 18th 2021


156 Comments


"Verse" is really great, but way more of a trad-emo album and trojan horses its themes more than this one

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2021


3857 Comments


nice, great review! i vaguely think i remember listening to this at some point maybe but i'm not sure lol

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YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks Jesper, tryna get back into writing more

Cormano
December 20th 2021


3107 Comments


this is a fantastic listen

Conmaniac
December 21st 2021


26812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bumping so I remember to check this

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 21st 2021


15311 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bumping so con remembers to check this

theBoneyKing
December 21st 2021


21202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bumping so I remember to check this [2]

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