GLX reviews Voyage by The Sound of Arrows.
Back in 2009, I discovered Neon Gold Records' blog and found some great acts that have been on my radar ever since. One of those acts was The Sound of Arrows, whose songs "Into the Clouds" and "M.A.G.I.C." got constant play on my iPod Touch. Fast forward to the present and The Sound of Arrows have released their debut album Voyage upon the world. After listening to Voyage, I can say that their work is as interesting as the day that I first listened to them.
I can't help but think of the similarities between The Sound of Arrows' Voyage and M83's Saturdays = Youth. Both feel like they were crafted as albums that happened to have singles, and they are both reminiscent of 80's films. If Saturdays = Youth is reminiscent of 80's teen films, then Voyage is reminiscent of 80's children's epics such as The Neverending Story. It's a very cinematic album through the use of musical reprises, a children's choir on such songs as "Ruins of Rome," and tracks that transition nicely from one to the other. One thing that's also worth noting is that Stefan Storm's voice has an innocence to it. I can't place my finger on it, but it's something to be heard to be believed.
Fans that have wondered how previous Sound of Arrows releases "Into the Clouds" and "Magic" would mesh with the rest of the album need not fear. They both fit within the greater scheme of the album - especially "Magic." While fans of the group may have an appreciation of the singles "Nova" and "Wonders," there are some gems that are packed within the album. "My Shadow" is a single that's just waiting to be dropped. The song starts off with a great synth lead and keeps the song's momentum with a solid backbone for the track. Storm wonderfully delivers the final line of the song: "The only one that got my back is my shadow." It's heartbreak wrapped in a catchy pop tune.
"Longest Ever Dream" is another album highlight and is arguably the most cinematic track on Voyage. The lead synth, the beat, the female singer and Storm's voice all sound like they were taken from an 80's classic. One thing that did bug me about the track is the inclusion of spoken word during the second verse. There's a plain-spoken female voice that repeats the lyrics and it feels out of place.
Even with some of its faults, there's plenty to love about Voyage. It's a satisfying album that starts and ends naturally. Easily recommended.
8* out of 10*
Written or Contributed by: GLX