Senses Fail - If There Is Light, It Will Find You
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Sixteen years in the making, Senses Fail’s new album, If There Is Light, It Will Find You is their most personal, emotional and powerful release yet. These twelve songs find vocalist Buddy Nielsen wearing his heart on his sleeve and opening up in a way that he hasn’t since the band’s inception, tackling hard to discuss subjects of loss, grief, depression and the struggles of maintaining a band when you’re not even sure what you want out of life.
Easily the most important thing about If There Is Light, It Will Find You is the lyrical content. Even the first few songs are hard hitters, from the explosive “Double Cross,” which serves as a love song to the scene that has constantly accepted Senses Fail with open arms, to millennial anthem, “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket…” which will quickly become a fan favorite. The heart wrenching, “First Breath, Last Breath,” chronicles Nielsen’s very real fear of losing his wife during childbirth while a few songs later, “Is It Gonna Be The Year?” finds him questioning not only his place in the music scene, but in the world. Balancing those heavier songs out are some of the album’s later tracks like “You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense,” “Shaking Hands” and “If There Is Light, It Will Find You,” which simply feel like healing.
Accompanying the introspective and downright vulnerable lyricism on this release is also some of the band’s catchiest songwriting to date. Songs like “Elevator to the Gallows” and “New Jersey Makes, The World Takes” are carried by wild guitar work and insane drum fills and are sure to remind you why you fell in love with Senses Fail to begin with. A standout is “Shaking Hands,” which takes a step away from the rest of the album and features some of the best songwriting of the collection. From start to finish, the album flows with ease, and by the time it comes to an end, it’s apparent that Senses Fail did this on purpose. They had a story to tell.
Old fans of Senses Fail will certainly be drawn to this album, simply due to the fact that sonically, it is reminiscent of the their first full-length, Let It Enfold You, but it would be a disservice to simply compare If There Is Light, It Will Find You to the band’s older work, as it is much more than just a callback to 2004. Although this album finds the band looking to the past in songs like, “New Jersey Makes, The World Takes” and “Is It Gonna Be The Year?” it also focuses quite a bit on the uncertainty of the future, and that’s honestly what makes it so great. If each Senses Fail album marks a different point in time in the band’s career and Nielsen’s life, then If There Is Light, It Will Find You is an homage to growing up but not setting aside the things that make you who you are. In fact, they discuss that on the album’s second to last track, “Stay What You Are.”
Senses Fail have found longevity in a music scene that has eaten some bands alive and found others rising to mainstream success, and this is certainly thanks to the band’s transparency and courage to write difficult songs throughout their career. This release just further cements that legacy. Throughout the entirety of If There Is Light, It Will Find You, there are countless callbacks to the scene that made Senses Fail who they are while they look toward the future for answers, and for that reason, this album will resonate with fans. It’s like looking in the mirror. It’s painful, ugly and emotionally exhausting, but this is the album that Senses Fail needed to write right now, and it’s exactly what we needed to hear.
LISTEN TO: "Last Breath, First Breath," "Is It Gonna Be The Year?" or "Gold Jacket, Green Jacket..."
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