Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: La Dispute - Rooms of the House

La Dispute has released an incredible new album, Rooms of the House.  Musically and lyrically, the album is spectacular.   Front and center in Rooms of the House is flawless storytelling.  What unfolds is a story of the collapse of a marriage, paralleled by recollections of past experiences, all centered around the idea of home.  The story, however a fiction, was very much inspired by Jordan Dreyer's family and some of their real-life experiences.  One of the best aspects in the story-telling is that it's non-linear.  And why should it be?  Are our memories (a constant theme of the album) ever linear?

Each song on the album is connected, with songs often referencing others on the album as the characters go through different experiences, which elicit vivid memories of the past.  This is especially true in the song "Stay Happy There".  This creates a consistent flow to the story, also captured in the absolutely fantastic flow of the music.  

The lyrics are some of the best written by Dreyer.  They often can be quite sobering.  "The Child We Lost 1963" is a heart rending song, yet beautiful lyrically, about the loss of a child and how it affects a family.  The song particularly resonated with me since my family also experienced a similar loss.  It can be quite difficult to be a kid and watch your parents cope with losing a child, but this song captures the sentiment completely.

"Woman (Reading)" is probably my favorite track on the album, painting a sad picture as the narrator observes (or remembers observing) his wife before the end of their marriage.  The lyrics are especially gorgeous.  I think it captures the overall essence of the main theme of Rooms of the House as Dreyer wails "How the spaces in the memories you make change the room from just blueprints / To the place where you live".  

Musically, Rooms of the House is very dynamic, each song distinct.  The killer bass lines from Adam Vass and drum lines from Brad Vander Lugt really shine on this album.  They pace each song with the utmost proficiency.  Produced by Will Yip, this album is probably their most musically cohesive, yet.

La Dispute's Rooms of the House is an album that should be, without a doubt, experienced by all.  The lyrics hold so much meaning and beautiful poetry, that I was immediately captivated by the story.  Although the themes and narrative of the album can be quite somber, it also induces thoughts about how we can learn from our past experiences and use them to progress forward.  

This is La Dispute's best album to date.  Definitely check it out, and make sure you have the lyrics to read along with the album.

I cannot recommend the album more!

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