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Album Review: Composure by Real Friends

Illinois 5-piece Real Friends released their third album Composure on 13th July via Fearless Records. It’s been two years since the band released The Home Inside My Head, which earned a Billboard Top 200 chart placement. When approaching ‘Composure’, the band found themselves working harder than ever on what they wanted to say with this album. “We have never put this much time and effort into a record,” explains bassist, Kyle Fasel. “Composure is everything we’ve always come up short on. We focused more on melodies than ever before. We focused more on the overall emotional climate of each song than ever before. I truly think that every song on the record stands on its own. But when all the songs come together it creates our best effort to date.

Produced by Mike Green (The Aces, All Time Low, The Mowgli’s, Paramore), the album features 10 tracks that push Real Friends from high grade pop-punk to a full-fledged pop-rock juggernaut.

On first listen Composure is easy to dismiss as the sound of a band going for a mainstream sound, there’s similarities to the shift that My Chemical Romance had between Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade. You could leave it there and put Real Friends down as yet another band that went for mainstream success and sacrificed their sound.

Or you could give it a couple more listens.

Do that and you’ll find yourself falling in love with a gorgeous pop rock album. The hooks are aplenty, the harmonies are bright and you can’t stop the smile from spreading across your face. It’s thirty minutes of golden pop-rock, easy to listen to, inoffensive and sure to fire Real Friends into the stratosphere.

Real Friends have always excellent with their earnest, emo lyrics. They’ve lent the pop-punk a relatable edge that the genre often lacked. This time, in-between the pop hooks there’s the emo laden lyrics exploring an emotionally mature side to band, touching on mental health, being accepted, and above all, learning to love yourself.

There’s not a weak track on Composure, each one excels as a pop rock track but if you want to dip in go for ‘Smiling On The Surface’, ‘Composure’, ‘Me First’ or ‘Ripcord’.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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