The Amazing recently released the sixth album since their debut in 2009, titled In Transit. The album follows the signature style of the indie rock band whose songs are known to be layered and unrestricted in the way they are performed. For me, this album was difficult to review because of the layers of the songs and the messages it carries, but I think the band wanted it to be that way. The songs from the album carry with them tension that slowly unfolds through the appearance of the instruments. The music is the lead in The Amazing’s music with the lyrics used as simply an instrumental tool. This Swedish band is made up of Christoffer Gunrup, Reine Fiske, Frederik Swahn, Alexis Benson and Moussa Fadera who combine their different talents to create amazing albums like this one.
The first song on the album is titled ‘Pull’. The song begins with an ambience of wind gushing which I associated with the idea of being blown into the album. Being taken on a musical journey to a place we wouldn’t expect. For me, this song translated to a man who was no longer a man but just a shell of a man that once was. Something happened to him in his life that caused a dark sheet to spread itself out over his life. He hasn’t been happy, but there is someone that is helping him get through it, his light in the darkness. The tune stays the same throughout the whole song without distinction between verse and chorus which I found interesting as I felt like it was the man’s life, no highs, no lows, he was just passing through.
‘Voices Sound’ is next on the album and I think this has to be my favourite off the album. Each time I listened to it, I found it really difficult to hear the lyrics and could hardly hear the words that were being said. I don’t know if this was just my music player or whether it was intentional. This song had a lot of input from different instruments, and a female voice was brought into it, so I think that without knowing what the lyrics were the song still carried a level of depth that the other songs were able to portray through voice. The role of the tune and the vocals have switched positions in this song.
The following tracks on the album are ‘A Million Days’ and ‘First Touch of Light’, both of which were similar but still unique in their way. ‘A Million Days’ loosely reminded me of a circus with the happy but haunting tune. It was a tune that stayed the same throughout the entirety of the song. ‘First Touch of Light’ began differently to the other songs consisting only of drums and a guitar. After we were used to the change, they took it back to their signature slightly muffled instrumentals. For me, this song was about some new beginning. Like for the first time, we have noticed something or the first light of happiness you have felt in a way. It is about coming out of this grey phase and forgetting your past.
The song ‘Rewind’ is an album favourite for me and many others I assume. It carries with it a different sound, one that is more mellow and not as weighted as the others are. It’s about going back to a different time when everything was better, reliving a good day and getting away from the present. For me this was the first song where I could clearly hear the words, could hear what they were saying and what they wanted us to think. It’s a first that’s separated the vocals from the instruments which I think is an interesting take by the band. This, with the mixture of the instruments, sets out a great song layered with conflicts and emotions to which the viewer can respond.
The album continues with ‘Never Be’ and ‘Benson se Convirtio Completamente Furiosa’. ‘Never Be’ is a happier song and from it, I really enjoyed the drum piece that was laid before us. ‘Benson se Convirtio Completamente Furiosa’ is another song that I enjoyed a lot. It has a sad, depressing feel to it with a tune that is carried throughout the whole song. It’s about someone feeling tired of the life they have, they are fed up with the way things are, and they want a change. A change from the place they are, maybe literally maybe physically. They are fed up with the people they are around and society. The title translates loosely to ‘Benson became completely furious’, which is the last name of one of the band members. This song is an ode to him or about him which I think is why the song can be seen as the most personal off the album.
‘For No One’, ‘Leave Us A Light’, ‘Asleep’, and ‘Je Travaille Dans la Banque’ are tracks that close the album and do it successfully. ‘For No One’ continued with this impressive percussion piece including different instruments that could bounce off of each other. ‘Leave Us A Light’ has a funky tune attached to it that translates through the lyrics as well. I think this song is discussing a darkness that needs a light, something to brighten up a place or a person. ‘Asleep’ is about remembering the past and accepting it, remembering what you’ve been through. It carries with it an echoed backing voice which creates the ambience of a dream.
The final song on the album is titled ‘Je Travaille Dans la Banque’ which translates to ‘I work in the bank’. The song holds a touch of psychedelia which is thanks to the ascension of the piano and the inclusion of techno sounds. This song is a great ending to the album as it shows a different side to the band and is like a closing chapter of a book that leaves you on the edge of your seat.
In Transit’s cover is also an important part of the album as I think it is almost like a warning sign of what is to come. The blurry picture seen on the front seems to be of a road. The band name and the album title are small and barely visible. For me, this translated to mean that they don’t care if you know who wrote it, they just care that the music is out there, and people are drawing their own conclusions from it. I think this was a bold move by the band as it creates a sense of confidence in their album that people will accept it for what it is and not judge it by the name they put on it.
This album is complex and layered in more ways than one which is one of the reasons I really enjoyed it. I think this band has the potential to connect with the listeners in a way that not many bands can, and this is by making the instruments and lyrics equal, with neither being dominant. The Amazing did a great job in sending their message through and I think got the reaction to their masterpiece that they were looking for, from me as well as other listeners.
In Transit is available via The Amazing’s Bandcamp.
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