The Story So Far - Proper Dose
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Three years of writing, recording and reshaping their sound has certainly paid off for The Story So Far, who have returned with Proper Dose, their most mature, refined and musically solid album to date. Their first full-length since the release of their self-titled album in 2015, Proper Dose not only sees The Story So Far exploring a wide range of new sounds, but also finds Parker Cannon opening up lyrically and showcasing some of his best vocal work of his career. Lyrically, Proper Dose looks inward at insecurities and fears while sonically, the band sounds more solid than ever.
It’s hard to highlight just a few standout moments on Proper Dose because every single song hosts something new and exciting. The opening track, “Proper Dose” really shines instrumally (especially the rhythm section) but Cannon’s vocals definitely don’t fall by the wayside, either. Rather than the angry, aggressive bangers that the band has become known for, Proper Dose feels more well-rounded, well thought out and introspective. Although songs like “Out Of It” and “Need To Know” still host that high energy, anthemic sound, they still feel fresh and new, surrounded by tracks like the poppy, “Take Me As You Please” or the ambient “Line.” Rather simplistic but incredibly stunning, “Let It Go” is something that would have been impossible to imagine The Story So Far writing years ago, but finds a perfect place in the middle of Proper Dose, while “Growing On You” finds Cannon exploring a higher, softer and absolutely stunning vocal range.
Proper Dose hits hard lyrically, as well. Each song finds Cannon battling with the person that he used to be and the person he is now, and you can really hear that in the music, too. Second track, “Keep This Up” is about self-destruction and self-medication, a theme that can be found throughout the album, while “If I Fall” stands out in lines like “My choices let down / Some of my closest people / But I’m gaining back ground / And forcing myself to get better by fall.”
Not one single song on Proper Dose is predictable, and it’s so refreshing - it’s everything you’d want from The Story So Far after a three year break and then some. Each song is leaps and bounds ahead of the band’s older material, but doesn’t step away from it enough to alienate long-time fans. Instead, Proper Dose finds The Story So Far evolving with ease. Nothing feels forced or out of place - it’s the perfect natural progression for the band.
LISTEN TO: “Let It Go” “If I Fall” or “Growing On You”
STAY CONNECTED WITH THE STORY SO FAR: https://www.facebook.com/thestorysofarca/