As It Is - The Great Depression
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Honest is the perfect word to describe As It Is’ latest album, The Great Depression. Filled to the brim with personal struggles and triumphs, fear, loss, anger and hope, The Great Depression is a soundtrack for the misfits and those who want to get better but aren’t sure where to start. From broad topics like the enviornment to more personal songs about depression and mental health, there’s a little something that will resonate with anyone on this release, and it’s all alongside theatrical and dramatic songwriting.
Lyrically, The Great Depression is simply phenomenal. By speaking directly to the listener and breaking down barriers, As It Is are able to discuss difficult topics with a sense of ease that’ll provide fans with comfort and community. With the opening track setting the scene by discussing honesty in music, the conversation is officially open between consumer and creator.
Although each song is strong in its own right, there are definitely a few stand-outs on The Great Depression, and the first is “Wounded World.” The socially conscious track focuses on conservation and treating our planet better, proclaiming with rage, “We have failed our ancestors, ourselves and the future inhabitants of the wounded world.” Meanwhile, “The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)” finds frontman Patty Walters bearing his soul. Aggressive, frustrated and angry, this song touches on exactly what the title suggests: society’s pressure on young men to stay strong and swallow their emotions.
Sonically, tracks like “The Question The Answer” and “The Reaper (feat. Aaron Gillespie)” stand out simply due to the dynamic range showcased between them. While “The Question The Answer” feels very delicate compared to the rest of the album, “The Reaper” is energetic and incredibly full, with sweeping guitar work weaving in and out while thick bass and energetic drums drive things forward. One thing that is consistent throughout the entire album is the dramatic push and pull between light and dark. Although it can feel a bit hopeless at times, there’s this strange sense of comfort in these songs. This really comes to a crescendo in “The Hurt, The Hope,” which is about fighting to get better and struggling to hold onto positivity in lines like, “Because we all need to feel release / Because we all want to be at peace.”
The greatest thing about The Great Depression is its vulnerability. Although it doesn’t promise that everything will be okay in the end, it gives you comfort in difficult times to know that someone else has gone through what you’re feeling. There’s a fight in these songs that is hard to find elsewhere, making it clear that As It Is have truly tapped into something incredible on this release.
LISTEN TO: "Wounded World" or "The Hurt, The Hope"
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