Album review: ‘Going Grey’

The Front Bottoms perform live on stage.

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The Front Bottoms perform live on stage.

Madison Gomez, Reporter

Hold the phone. Grab some headphones. “Going Grey” by the Front Bottoms was released on Oct. 13, and since they had already dropped two out of the 11 tracks, my expectations were set high for this album.

Kicking it off is the sound of seagulls chirping along with the crashing waves on the seashore. The euphoric sound of nature continues until 0:33 when a drum beat starts “You Used to Say.”The song made me feel relaxed, like I could be walking on a beach instead of sitting in a chair starting homework. Sustaining that emotion, the dynamics throughout the song are what appealed to me most, drawing me into playing it on repeat.

Later in the album, “Grand Finale” highlights the true purpose that I saw in the album. It’s an inspirational, feel-good heartbreak-anthem or homage to love, depending on what side of the lyrics one choses to hear. Although it does touch on a lot of other feelings through sounds and words, it’s a great album to mold to what you want or need to hear. This song in particular is about a brokenhearted lover who’s refusing to move on, wanting to have one more experience with his love.

The Front Bottoms have a record as I see it of having lyrics that don’t really make logical sense, but they make emotional sense when paired with music. For instance, in “Grand Finale,”  the chorus is, “empty wine bottles in my room, when I wake up I think of you. It’s our grand finale.”

In “Grande Finale”  when the drums keep on pounding, and the guitar starts its build-up of higher and higher notes, a single drum hit sets off the new part of the chorus, it paints a picture in my mind of this sad man lying down in bed, head spinning, and tears slowly rolling down his cheek.

You know the sound of rain, probably. Pat. Pat. Pat. Little did I know, the previously released song, “Raining,” created the same sound effect with an acoustic guitar. Just strumming. No useage of a clip of rain like they did for the first song with the ocean.

It’s peaceful, but if you listen to the lyrics, once again, they tend to get on the unrelatable side. “See a house, built by a mafia member. How do you think that felt?” But the last question is repeated over and over throughout the song to express hurt feelings and that’s when, as a listener, I felt connected to the song.

Right after, to let all of those built-up and hurt feelings out, “Far Drive” accomplishes becoming a song that you could open a window to and just drive on an open road to, without a destination. The guitar and bass are almost doing a meticulous dance in my ears when the guitar takes the lead into the chorus and gets me excited. Paired with the piano immediately after, it’s such a well constructed song, probably my favorite on the album, although “Grand Finale” is right there next to it.

Coming to a close, things calm down. The mellow, muted acoustic guitar creates a melancholy sound and the tambourine and drum prepare you for what’s about to come next.

“I’m scared to be living by the ocean.” Sung over and over. I feel like this song is telling me that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to feel emotions that are more then you can explain and all the nervousness and anxiety that is felt on a daily basis can be combated by doing what you love.

As if it couldn’t get any more inspirational or relaxing, the last lyrics of that song are “I’m scared” immediately followed by the same sounds heard in the beginning of the soundtrack, making it loop nicely if you have the album on repeat, but there’s a more prominent ringing in this version.

That ringing signifies that everything is going to be okay. No matter the situation, expressing what a musical beacon of hope sounds like.

Overall, I’d give this album five stars out of five stars. It’s experimental with new instruments in different places, brought-to-life sounds that I thought wouldn’t fit, incorporated lyrics that don’t make sense but at the same time do. For these reasons, I believe this is a relatable album that anyone with a pair of headphones, an open mind and an open heart can express themselves through.