Smile Empty Soul have proven themselves time after time, and their latest album Rarities is no exception. If you have been a fan, you will immediately connect to this album for its nostalgic sound. If you are new, you have some catching up to do, and this album is the best starting place. The album is a compilation of songs that span their nearly 20 year career; the physical copy containing 13 tracks, ten originals and three covers, while the digital copy contains eight original tracks.
The first song on the album, ‘One At a Time’, is reminiscent of everything that made you fall in love with the band. Singer Sean Danielsen’s powerful vocals and crunching guitar riffs showcase the song’s angst while still allowing the listener to follow and enjoy the music. ‘Goodbye’ is a feel-good song about kicking the feelings of angst and misery, with catchy lyrics and poppy melodies that combine with their alternative style to produce an easy-listening experience. Songs like ‘What’s Going Through My Head’ pull from the bands punk influence while the acoustic ‘Finding Myself’ leans more on the 90s grunge side, proving the band’s multidimensional and cross-genre abilities.
The three covers included on the physical copy span the grunge, alternative, and pop genres of popular 90s songs. The band’s cover of Tori Amos’ ‘Precious Things’ adds a darker element over the already hauntingly beautiful melodies with deeper guitar sounds and rougher lyrical attack. ‘Aneurysm’ pays homage to 90s grunge-gods Nirvana and Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Possession’ gets the rock treatment with distortion and grit.
Overall, Rarities is the type of album you always wanted from Smile Empty Soul. It shows their musical progression through the years, how they modernized their nostalgic sound into maturing material while still being able to keep the feeling of the songs and the band alive.
Smile Empty Souls Rarities is out now.
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