The Japanese House - Good at Falling
Review by Dom Vigil
The Japanese House has a way of creating otherworldly soundscapes that have the ability to teleport you to a different headspace upon just one listen, and her debut full-length album, Good at Falling is no exception. On this release, The Japanese House mastermind Amber Bain not only expands on the dreamy, melodramatic sounds that fans have grown to love on previous EPs, but also explores quite a bit lyrically, opening up more than ever before with songs like “Lilo,” “Maybe You’re The Reason” and “You Seemed so Happy.”
Heartbreakingly beautiful, Good at Falling is a stunning listen from start to finish, kicking off with the cinematic and emotionally charged opening track, “went to meet her (intro)” and wandering through countless emotions and sounds before coming to a conclusion with a stripped down version of “i saw you in a dream.” In fact, the lyrical content of Good at Falling is definitely one of its strengths. Throughout the album’s thirteen songs, Bain touches on plenty of personal topics, getting vulnerable on songs like “We Talk All the Time” and “Lilo,” but manages to do so in a way that’ll be relatable to just about any listener. “Maybe You’re The Reason,” for instance, feels like trying to figure your life out, while “We Talk All the Time” is about the dismantling of a relationship and attempt to move on. One of the strongest songs is “You Seemed So Happy,” which is driven by warm, acoustic guitar, standing out from the rest of the album, but has a really somber message about seeming outwardly happy when you’re really not. Although it feels rather simplistic, “You Seemed So Happy” is very hard-hitting emotionally.
It would be a shame to discuss the lyrical content of Good at Falling without talking about the album’s sonic journey as well. There’s this lovely ebb and flow throughout the entire album that manages to weave acoustic guitars, retro synth and The Japanese House’s signature ambient, mellow pop together. The push and pull between more energetic songs like “We Talk All the Time” and the more ambient “Wild” keeps the album breathing. There is never one moment where two songs feel too similar or the album becomes stagnant, but it feels very cohesive as well. More standouts include the slow yet massive “Lilo,” which feels like one of the album’s peaks, as well as the spacy, ambient “Everybody Hates Me” and unpredictable and unique “Worms.”
There’s really no other artist out there doing quite what The Japanese House does, and that’s what makes Good at Falling such a perfect debut full-length release. With an incredibly unique sound and an ability to convey emotion with just a few words, Amber Bain really has the world at her fingertips, and she certainly doesn’t hold back. Good at Falling is an ambitious, beautiful release that couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
LISTEN TO: “We Talk All the Time” and “You Seemed So Happy”
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