Review by Shannon Shumaker
Roommate’s new album, Make Like isn't huge or explosive by any means, but where it lacks in big, loud moments, it makes up for in smart, simplistic songwriting, easy to listen to melodies and catchy, subtle guitar hooks. Strong bass lines and pretty vocal harmonies move the album forward as well, making for eight songs that flow incredibly well.
The first track, “People On Screens” transitions into “Secret Claw” so effortlessly, that it’s nearly impossible to notice the song change until the chorus finally comes in. “Secret Claw” definitely slows things down a bit following the opening track, but it isn’t any less interesting to listen to. Carried by soft guitar and strong bass lines, “Secret Claw” explores more of the subtle vocal harmonies that can be heard in “People On Screens,” and as the song progresses, it becomes significantly more eerie with dissonant chords and a bit of a buildup. The song definitely does seem to grow as it progresses, which is nice, considering the otherwise repetitive simple beat and slower melody and kicks it off. And then, just when you’re getting used to “Secret Claw,” the song flawlessly transitions to the more psychedelic following track, “Dancer Howl” without missing a beat.
Many of the songs on Make Like are very soft and simplistic. As mentioned before, none of these tracks are necessarily huge or explosive, but instead host more subtle songwriting choices that make them strong. Unfortunately, however, this also makes some of the songs a little slow and repetitive. “Dancer Howl,” for instance stays on the same level with the same beat for an entire six minutes, and it almost feels like a relief when the significantly lighter following track, “Curses” comes in. "Riot Size" later in the album also feels very slow as well. There are absolutely quite a few soft and subtle things going on in the instrumentation in these songs when you really listen to them, though, making this album one that you really have to devote your full attention to in order to get the full effect.
Two of the strongest tracks on Make Like come toward the end of the album with the very pretty and simple “Wilderness,” which then builds into “Old Golden.” “Wilderness” is easily one of the most simplistic songs on the album, but with a strong melody and emotional lyricism, it’s hard not to fall in love with it. Following “Wilderness” is “Old Golden,” which is very warm and almost summery feeling. Easily one of the most upbeat and catchy tracks on the album, “Old Golden” is like a breath of fresh air.
At the heart of it, Make Like is soft and relaxing, simplistic but well worth listening to. Even in the slower, more simple songs, there are still little moments that make it strong, such as the beautiful vocal harmonies, soft guitar work or the incredibly strong bass lines that carry the album forward. These eight songs flow together so well, that once the album comes to an end, you’ll be more than ready to hit repeat and listen to them all over again.
Listen to "Old Golden"