While it would be nice, stability is never a sure thing in life. Whether it involves school, relationships or work, as long as there is involvement from other people, there’s always going to be an underlying chance something will happen and the situation becomes unstable. Musicians assuredly come to terms with this early on in their careers, and while it would be great to see bands keep the same members throughout, people and their desires change. Arizona rockers Farewell, My Love have dealt with their fair share of lineup instability as the band is now on their third vocalist and second guitarist during their short, yet illustrious career. With the theatrical rock group set to release their long awaited second full length album, Above It All, have the constant lineup changes affected the groups direction or are they ultimately stronger than ever?
For anyone unfamiliar with the sound that made Farewell, My Love famous, they combine elements of rock and post hardcore with theatrical bits. The most apt comparisons would be a more rock driven Alesana or Famous Last Words, but with less emphasis on overall conceptual songs. Their new record brings forth an evolved theatrical rock sound as Above It All oozes atmosphere with its haunting melodies and intense, yet delicately crafted instrumentation, essentially bringing listeners to a moody driven carnival landscape. This evolved sound was accomplished a multitude of ways; first, the band approached the record with a stronger, more authentic and organic songwriting methodology that ultimately helps each song have its own identity. Secondly, there’s overall stronger instrumentation with a variety of rarely utilized instruments in rock being introduced including a cello, trumpet, xylophone and a mandolin. The aforementioned additions truly help the bands theatrical stylings blend with the rock n’ roll driven sound more naturally.
While shorter albums have become more normal and accepted as of late, Farewell, My Love created a lengthy sophomore album as Above It All clocks in just under 50 minutes throughout the 13 tracks that make up the record. The fear with longer albums such as this is that there’s going to be a few standout singles, while the rest are either filler or interludes. That isn’t the case here as the two shortest tracks, “Welcome To The Beginning” (an instrumental opener that appropriately sets the atmosphere) and “Last Goodbye” (an interlude that helps transition from a darker atmosphere to a more upbeat, positive mood) serve their purpose well. In regards to the overall variety found on the record, there’s a large dose of uniqueness to be heard between the poppy sing-a-along songs, screaming guitar solos and solemn ballads. This variety doesn’t take away from the overall record cohesiveness as the sound and theme of each track flows well into the following track while the interlude does a commendable job of transitioning the first and second halves of the record.
After 3 years of what has essentially been silence in regards to new music and the formation of their own record label to manage their internal operations, Farewell, My Love have returned with stronger songwriting and a renewed spark for their passion. Above It All may not necessarily be the most original album in regards to lyrical content or sound, but it’s a record that was obviously crafted with a love for their art and an immense amount of detail. This is ultimately a record that is just as much for the band as it is its fanbase and accomplishes what the four-piece set out to do in the beginning; make their mark with their return to the music scene and show the world what they’re all about.