People may question my writing skills after reading this, but the introduction of this review took four or five drafts before I seemed even remotely satisfied with the outcome. In fact, I’m still unsure of its suitability. Basically, all I want to say as an introduction is that I don’t put much stock in reviews. I can’t tell you how to feel about a song or whether it falls in the realm of ‘acceptable’ or ‘crappy’, that’s based on preference. What I do is suggest a new song and help you decide between clicking the link to pre-order or closing the screen completely.
Alright, so after losing fifty percent of my readership, where do we go from here?
For me, The Trusted began as another indie rock band making their way through the underground UK circuit. They dress like average twenty-somethings, remind me of Arctic Monkeys, are ambitious, courteous, and as easily forgotten as soon as I listened to them. The big ‘however’ that kept them on my radar was the raw emotion emphasised in their music. The band is talented, and the guys work together well musically, but it was the grittiness of ‘No Real Control’ that drew me in. If ‘No Real Control’ was the lure, then ‘Cigarettes and Chandeliers’ is what snagged me.
In my opinion, ‘Cigarettes and Chandeliers’ is almost exactly the same as ‘No Real Control’, but it also isn’t. Lead vocalist Tom Cunningham noted the band was going through an Elvis Costello phase during recording, and this is blatantly obvious. The song can be considered ‘bouncier’ than The Trusted’s other work showing a movement from teenage angst-esque to more mature sounds. ‘No Real Control’ was a song about lost love reminding me of many emerging bands following the trend; but ‘Cigarettes and Chandeliers’ is The Trusted post-adolescent, a college graduate and from a realist perspective.
So, what is my overall opinion of this track? I think this is a clear depiction of The Trusted at their core, even if it is subconsciously. The band continues to integrate guitar solos with steady bass and drumming, but the shift to more sophisticated use of their sound combined with Tom’s unique baritone illustrates growth as musicians.
Tom added that the lyrics are about craving power, about people with inflated senses of self-importance. The Trusted, as with everyone in the 21st century, find themselves in a complex socio-political society where, well, people like to hear themselves talk and take control. It makes sense that youngsters who have a voice would use it to go beyond music, while still using music to deal with disillusionment. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, it’s the grittiness below the surface that drew me to The Trusted. It’s their grittiness and cheekiness that will keep ‘Cigarettes and Chandeliers’ on repeat.