Review by Shannon Shumaker
A Great Big World’s sophomore album, When The Morning Comes is everything that made listeners fall in love with Is There Anybody Out There? and then some. With big, emotional ballads, crisp vocal work and relatable lyrics, When The Morning Comes is an anthemic and inspirational release from start to finish.
“All I Want Is Love” opens When The Morning Comes with a little bit of everything that makes the album strong. With a very uplifting and warm sound coupled with backing vocals and instrumentals that keep the energy high, the lead vocals and lyrics reach out and touch you within moments. The first chorus hits hard, with emotional lyricism that anyone can relate to; “I don’t care what they all say/Let me find my own way home/I don’t care if my heart breaks/All I want is love.” And on top of the relatable and emotional lyrics, the vocal runs are crisp, clean and confident, providing a perfect opener to what promises to be a monumental album.
“Kaleidoscope” follows the big opener with upbeat and happy instrumentals. The acoustic guitar kicks things off, but the piano parts that match the lead vocals are what really make this song stand out. The instrumentals really set the mood of the song, and when the group vocals come in with the rest of the band, it really blooms. Then, “End of the World” comes in and catches you off guard with almost an R&B sound at the very beginning before transitioning into a beautiful love song. Three songs in, and A Great Big World have already showcased plenty of different moods and sounds, with even more strong songs to keep listeners excited.
“Hold Each Other” is a very big, beautiful love song, and with gorgeous, emotional vocals spearheading the track, it is sure to be a fan-favorite. “Oasis” is also a strong follow up, keeping the emotion running high, and proving that, while there are many slow love songs on the album, it is certainly not one dimensional. While there is a little lull in the energy toward the middle of the album, the vocals and lyrics are more than enough to keep listeners’ attention. Add some smart songwriting and gorgeous piano parts in the mix, and it’s incredibly easy to fall in love with these tracks.
“Won’t Stop Running” is a noteable high point in When The Morning Comes. This song is big and inspirational, hosting some of the album’s strongest lyricism, which can be heard in the chorus, “This isn’t over/I am way too young and I won’t stop running,” or the incredible line “I’d rather be the one that starts the fire/than to shut my mouth and be the one who gets burned.” The incredible lyricism isn’t the only strong point of “Won’t Stop Running,” either. The song’s vocals are beautiful and very diverse compared to the rest of the album, with big, clean moments as well as almost rapped verses. The instrumentals are big, but not too much, showcasing the most important aspect of the song, which is obviously the message.
Insecurities follow the positive outlook in the lyrics “Won’t Stop Running” with “One Step Ahead,” but the song also has a positive twist, ending as another beautiful love song. “The Future’s Right In Front Of Me” is also another strong, uplifting track, bringing When The Morning Comes to a powerful ending. The album ends with a slow, acoustic track with “Where Does The Time Go,” but thankfully does not seem to lose any of the energy or meaning that the rest of the songs have. The great thing about When The Morning Comes is that, despite the many slow songs, the album as a whole has a very positive and uplifting tone. Even in the slower songs, the lyrics are strong and meaningful, and the instrumentals are warm and anthemic. Listeners are sure to walk away from When The Morning Comes feeling different (and likely better) than they felt beforehand, and that should be proof enough of A Great Big World’s impact as musicians. They have really outdone themselves with this release.
Listen to "Won't Stop Running"
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