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Album Review: In Time We Belong by Slow And Steady

Slow And Steady have released their debut album In Time We Belong. Sometimes you connect emotionally with an album because the music tugs at your heartstrings, at other times it’s because the lyrics resonate and strike a chord. Here, songwriter Jacob Lawter – in his first album outing as Slow and Steady – blends his affecting lyrics around maudlin melodies perfectly.

In Time We Belong is a brilliant sad pop album that comes over as authentic and perfectly formed. It’s an album that is bound to strike a chord with fans of emo and more conventional rock. There are several flavours that go into the sound of Slow And Steady, there are notes of the progressive and refined emo of Sorority Noise and Prawn alongside the refined and accomplished sound of Manchester Orchestra.

You can view In Time We Belong in two ways. Focusing on Lawter’s lyrics, it’s a formidable album. Moments that you first see as being introspective are turned round to be boisterous and self affirming. Sure there’s bleak moments like on opener ‘Watching Life Go By’ where Lawter sings “Call the search party and tell them I died watching life go by’ or the regret in ‘35mm’. Yet you’ll find catharsis and inspiration in the music. In that second view of the album you can see In Time We Belong being a different prospect completely.

The music alone turns songs on their heads. ‘Watching Life Go By’ turns into a resentful monster and ‘Disinterested’ is intensified with the minimalist approach. The sparse beats and piano add a melancholic feel that strengthen Lawter’s words. On the whole the music behind the second half of In Time We Belong is more upbeat and in that it comes to the fore. ‘I’ve Never Left You’ is the strongest song on the album with its pounding riffs and delicate moments.

Moments like in ‘The Kind Of Warmth That Freezes You To Death’ and ‘From This Side Of Time’ blow you away with the emotion packed in. It’s impossible not to be moved by either, the delicate guitar work complements Lawter’s vocal perfectly and you feel that however bad things may get there is always hope.  Conversely things work just as well when the guitars are bigger and ‘rockier’ – take ‘Pendulum’ as an example or the crescendo within ‘From This Side Of Time’ both are wonderful pieces that have force. The former is particularly strong. Special praise must be reserved for closer ‘Lost At Sea’, it’s nigh on impossible not to be touched emotionally. It’s  dark and brooding with the line of “It’s easier for me to believe your lost at sea than for me to believe you’re there not listening to me” yet you’ll end up finding hope and inspiration as the agitated chords wash over the words.

In Time We Belong is an emotional rollercoaster, but one you can’t help but enjoy. Sure at times it’s dark but at others it’s tear jerkingly positive. It’s an album that not only strikes you emotionally but one that astounds you with its power.

AD Rating 8.5/10

 

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