Paradise Fears Album Review
By Harriet Kaplan
Alternative pop rockers Paradise Fears specialize in universal songs that are introspective in nature and find the band turning inward and being reflective. The band’s forthcoming full-album, “Life In Real Time,” set for release on December 4, struggles mightily with the universality of life’s big questions against formulaic yet appealing mainstream production that brims with an explosive musicality. The Vermillion, South Dakota natives include Sam Miller (vocals), Cole Andre (vocals, rhythm guitar, samples, mandolin), Jordan Merrigan (lead guitar, trumpet), Michael Walker (keys, vocals), Marcus Sand (bass) released their independent debut “Yours Truly” in 2011 followed by 2013’s “8-song mini-album” “Battle Scars.” The 2014 single “Who We Were With,” has garnered over three million streams and counting, according to the band’s official bio. Without the help of management or label support, Paradise Fears has built a widespread and loyal following, with hundreds of thousands of fans subscribed online and millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube (nearly 12 million views). On their newest release, “Life In Real Time,” Paradise Fears emphasize booming choruses that are immediately catchy, hook-laden with a focus on cohesive, melodic harmonies that build and swell with passion, angst and intensity within each number geared for audiences that gravitate toward stadium and arena rock. The arrangements feel inspiring and uplifting in most of the songs and sound very uptempo but there is a strong undercurrent of loneliness, longing, confusion, despair and searching and even cynicism lyrically. But there is still hope and optimism that one will make it through past the bleaker side smartly navigating through the complex myriad of real-life challenges and experiences with a new perspective inherent in a hard found and won wisdom. The new LP features 12 tracks and some of the standout numbers include “Where To Begin,” Back To Life” and the highly original and compelling “Who We Were With” that shows the band’s songwriting acumen really shines. Paradise Fears dig deep into the “settling” theme of an unhappy marriage in “Who We Were With” spanning the decades from the 20th century households until today that is still very relevant.
You can preorder the album at http://www.merchhq.com/