Review by Shannon Shumaker
You’re Not As _____ As You Think is easily Sorority Noise’s strongest release to date. Emotionally powerful, lyrically vulnerable and most of all raw, You’re Not As _____ As You Think chronicles some very important moments not only for the band, but in vocalist/guitarist Cameron Boucher’s life. The vulnerability that has been a staple for Sorority Noise since their inception is stronger than ever on this release, which centers around coming to terms to the deaths of close friends and finding beauty and hope in even the darkest times.
Opening song, “No Halo” really sets the tone for You’re Not As _____ As You Think, but it isn’t until “A Portrait Of” comes in that you’ll truly understand where Boucher is coming from lyrically and feel completely immersed in his world. There are plenty of moments of hopelessness and despair on this release, but it’s the bright slivers of light that matter, and this can be heard in the big chorus of “No Halo” or the surprisingly bright instrumentals on “A Portrait Of” alongside blunt lyrics. “A Portrait Of” is the perfect snapshot of this release - it’s about things not being okay, but moving forward regardless. Sometimes, you have to accept things for the way they are and find a way to make things work, as Boucher insists in the line, “I’m not trying to say it’s easy/But I’m trying to say it’s fine.”
Following the mood on “A Portrait Of” perfectly is the slower “First Letter From St. Sean,” which then contrasts with “A Better Sun.” By the time the heartbreaking yet stunning “Disappeared” comes in, the themes on You’re Not As _____ As You Think will be obvious. Sorority Noise go to uncomfortable places on this release, touching on some of the darker thoughts and emotions that most people don’t talk about, and the result is something incredibly cathartic, especially for anyone who has lost someone close.
Despite the heavy emotions and lyrical content throughout every song on this record, “Where Are You” is easily one of the hardest hitting tracks, chronicling the days, weeks and months after losing someone and the frustrations one feels when trying to deal with other people, their sympathy and coming to terms with loss on their own. Lyrically, this song is so honest and raw, but instead of sounding heartbroken or hopeless, it’s from the point of view from someone learning to take things in stride. To understand this track, you really just have to hear it for yourself, but powerful lines like, “I’ve got friends who have died/But everything’s gonna be alright/They’ll be with me by my side every night,” will inspire you to find light in the dark.
Following “Where Are You” is the bitter and heartbroken, “Second Letter From St. Julien.” Each stage of grief is laid out clearly throughout this record, and if this song is anything, it’s anger, as Boucher questions religion in the lines, “You say he’s alive/The spirit flows through your veins/Well I guess my best friend was just trying to help the spirit escape.” This song is dark, ugly and uncomfortable, but Sorority Noise need to go there, and any listeners who have been in their shoes will thank them for it.
The fact of the matter is, You’re Not As _____ As You Think isn’t a sugar-coated album about getting over the loss of a friend and becoming happy once more. If you’re looking for a feel-good release, you should know better than to pick up a Sorority Noise record. But if you’re looking something incredibly honest, something that will touch on real human emotions and struggling to keep living when you lose those closest to you, then You’re Not As _____As You Think will speak to you and then some. As the title of the record suggests, everything is about perspective. Place any adjective into the blank - sad, happy, alone - and it’ll become very easy to understand. You’re Not As _____ As You Think is an album that needed to be written, and Sorority Noise have done a fantastic job of depicting these fragile, painful emotions for listeners to hear and connect with.
Listen to "Where Are You"
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