Review by Shannon Shumaker
Every single track on My Silent Bravery’s Diamond From Coal is upbeat, cheerful and happy. It’s apparent after only listening to a few songs that this is an album written by someone who loves what they do - this is music for people who love life, and it’s impossible not to smile when you’re listening to it.
The first track on Diamond From Coal, “Amazing,” is simply that; amazing. It’s a great opening track to show the listener what this cheerful album has in store for them, and by the time the catchy chorus kicks in, I’m already bobbing my head along with it. While Diamond From Coal may not be something I’d normally listen to, by the time that “Amazing” fades into “P.O.V.,” I’m more than happy that I did.
The only downside on Diamond From Coal is that sometimes, the electronic synth parts that are laced throughout My Silent Bravery’s sound - while unique and catchy - can be a little bit overpowering. On few tracks (see the beginning of the album’s third track “Gone”) it can be hard to hear the pretty acoustic guitar work or strong vocals through the synth parts. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem to mesh as well as it does on other tracks. That being said, though, My Silent Bravery seems to have found a great balance throughout the majority of the album. The slower track, “Forever,” is a perfect example of the gorgeous acoustic guitar work and Matthew Wade’s amazing vocals. It’s still an amazingly powerful song, even stripped down. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, “High On Life” is more upbeat and cheerful, with a perfect blend of synth parts that really add to the song, rather than take away from it.
Another great aspect about Diamond From Coal is the album’s strong, relatable lyrics. While many songs on the album are just upbeat, happy tracks, many others (especially “Forever,” “Believe,” “Tears,” and the remarkable final track “You Shine”) are carried specifically by their lyrics. Obviously, Diamond From Coal is meant to be a cheerful record, but that’s not to say it’s vapid or meaningless by any means. The lyrics on the final track, “You Shine,” are proof of that, as Wade coos, “Although you’re going home/It’s alright, you tried.” This song is a perfect, inspirational ending, leaving Diamond From Coal on a good note.
The upbeat acoustic guitar, happy vocals, strong lyrics and electronic synth parts throughout My Silent Bravery’s sound easily transport you right into summer, making this album perfect for long car drives or walking through the city with your headphones on. Diamond From Coal is heartfelt and powerful, making this album easily worth the listen.
Listen to "You Shine" or "Amazing"