I’m currently leaving for vacation in the Siesta Keys, and the soundtrack to the freeing myself of responsibility this week is Allison Weiss’ new record, “New Love”. The record speaks of the pain we go through in life and how it makes us who we are. It sounds depressing, but this is possibly the most uplifting record I’ve listened to all year. Which is why I’ve been playing incessantly since it was released at the beginning of October.
With all of it’s 80s pop and dance sensibilities I think it would be a perfect summer album. Alas it came out now for us to enjoy. I’m going to the beach so it’s basically extended summer for me anyway so maybe that’s why it sounds so good. The album opens up with the intro song of “The Sound”.
“I’m a sucker for an aching heart
Gotta suffer for the sake of art
And I want you cause you make it hard
I want you cause you make it hard
It’s a pattern I’ve always found
I get messed up, I write it down
I like the hurt cause I like the sound
I like the sound
I am taken with the bitter end
And the breaking, the way we mend
And I want you, I just can’t pretend
I want you, we could just pretend
This spiral I’m headed around won’t mess me up, won’t get me down
And I like the hurt cause I like the sound
I like the sound”
– “The Sound”
Sounds a lot more poetic than Three Days Grace, “I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all”, right?
Allision’s voice is a little bit lower than most female vocalists. She’s got that rock singer type voice as opposed to someone softer like Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee. Both unique singers but suited for different types of music. This is not a rock album though. This is an 80s pop album written in 2015.
The album kicks into full gear at track four, “Golden Coast”. The first three tracks just teasing you at what’s to come. “Golden Coast” opens with an in your face synthesizer lead before pulling back for the verses. Waiting til the chorus to bring back the synthesizer to the chorus makes it that much more powerful. There’s a warmth to the song and excitement that makes you want to hop in your car and take off and find what you’re looking for out of life. The songs speaks of heading home. I believe home is wherever you feel most comfortable. Your little spot in the world that’s yours filled with what makes you happy. Whether it’s stuff or people. This can be anywhere, but everyone needs a figurative home.
“Back To Me” is the best Blondie song Debbie Harry never wrote. By now, you’re halfway through the album and there’s no way you’re not finishing the album. You’ve got a smile on your face and goosebumps on your arms. Maybe that’s just me, but whenever there’s something special about an album I randomly will get goosebumps on my arms. It’s happened with albums of all genres, but it’s a physical indication that I’m connecting with the album in some way. I believe music is so much more than something to fill dead air. It means as much or as little as you want it to, but what great movie didn’t have great music that helped you connect to the film?
I think my two favorite songs are the combination of track nine and ten. “Motorbike” is a straight forward almost Ramones-esque song that is more akin to her earlier work, but strangely still fits on this album. Allison really shines on songs like this when she just can belt out the lines. It’s a simple song, but it’s a showcase of how great a singer she is. “Motorbike” previously was about getting away from someone who’s been bumming you out and clearing your head. “New Love” finds Allison hearing her ex talk about finding their new love.
“I heard you fell in love again for the first time
And I heard you can’t remember when it felt so right
And you say you can’t believe you found it finally
And you whisper soft and sweet
The same old way you whispered it to me
I heard the stars shine brighter now than they used to
And I heard the pieces fit so well like they’re supposed to
And you say you can’t deny the planets all aligned
And you’re holding all you need
The same old way you held on tight to me
There’s no love like new love
You’re moving on and all I want is you, love”
– “New Love”
This could have easily ended the album. It sounds like a finale, but old Allision decides to throw one more song at us. It’s an acoustic song that finds Allison coming to some realizations that kind of sum up the album as a whole.
“Is anybody never really over anyone?
Is anybody lying when they say they’re having fun?
Does anybody feel like checking out and going home?
I can’t be alone
Does anybody feel like kissing strangers when they’re sad?
Does anybody wonder how it ever got this bad?
Does anybody wish that they could change the way they are?
It can’t be that hard
I’m not lonely like I used to be
I get older and I notice things
We all got feelings that we can’t explain
We’re all a little bit the same
Is anybody sleeping? Is it just me wide awake?
Is anybody dreaming of the changes they would make?
Has anybody felt like they can’t take it on their own
I can’t be alone”
– “The Same”
I think even though this album has only been out about three weeks, this is one of the best albums of the year. You can show your friends who like Taylor Swift and they’ll be into it. You can show your dad who plays “air keyboard” more than air guitar (maybe that’s just mine) and they’ll get something out of it. Those hardcore kids will secretly listen to it when their girlfriend isn’t around.
I believe it’s the perfect mix of modern pop, 80s influenced rock music, and current indie music. Listen to it for yourself: