Review by Dom Vigil
The Classic Crime’s newest release, How To Be Human not only finds the band exploring larger musical landscapes and new sounds, but also their own existence. In twelve songs that almost play like a stream of consciousness of sorts, How To Be Human touches on subjects that many of us find ourselves battling with without really thinking about. This album simply brings to light the complicated sides of life and helps to work them out.
Musically, How To Be Human starts of with very dreamy and atmospheric instrumentals that will certainly put you in the right mood for the following songs before kicking off with the high energy “Holy Water.” Setting the tone for the album thematically, “Holy Water” essentially discusses how everything is connected in one way or another. The following track, “Not Done With You Yet” is an incredibly human song, which suits it perfectly considering the subject matter and title of the album. “Not Done With You Yet” is about making mistakes and learning from them. Somehow, the song manages to take on a rather neutral and comforting tone on the subject - not too positive or too negative - which makes for a very comforting listen.
The exploration of different sounds and emotions is a huge driving factor on this album, as you’ll realize only a few songs in, but it never feels too drastic or out of place. The huge arrangements on “Ghost” come with ease, despite how different it might feel to a track like “Holy Water.” On the emotional side of things, a song like “Wonder” is very introspective, although slightly darker than the songs that come before it, chronicling the loss of the wonder and optimism that comes along with youth. Lyrically, the next two songs, “Spare Time” and “Shades Of Green” are some of the most powerful tracks on the album.
By the time you hit “Shades Of Green,” The Classic Crime will have done a remarkable job of driving the messages on How To Be Human home. At its core, this release is a journey of self-exploration and introspection. The mature and honest lyrics and vocals come with ease, giving room for stunning songwriting and big musical arrangements without having to sacrifice anything. From there, the album begins to round out, with “More” which is simply about wanting more out of life. Then comes the acoustic, “Hold on Let Go,” which takes a more simplistic approach musically than the rest of the album, really echoing the themes of the song, which touches on letting go of the things that weigh you down and “just being.”
By the time that How To Be Human comes to an end, you’re bound to feel fulfilled. With stunning musical arrangements and honest lyricism, the album is a reflection of the philosophical introspection that the band has been through, which in turn makes it an incredibly honest and relatable release. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the themes and thoughts discussed on How To Be Human all cross our minds from time to time, and The Classic Crime are simply opening the discussion. Not only is this a stunning release musically, but it’s also one that’ll make you think.
Listen to "Not Done With You Yet" or "Wonder"
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