For an intelligent breed of pop-rock we are grateful
Gratitude- it doesn't really give much hint as to genre, does it? On hearing the first bars of 'Drive Away' I think I'm in for something fairly hardcore, luckily I'm wrong. Gratitude are infact pretty hard to pin down, there's some anxious headstrong drumming, some melodic guitar and rip roaring vocals that could go pretty much anywhere on the pop-rock spectrum.
'Drive Away' eventually settles into a bouncy pop chorus, much like the best works of Jimmy Eat World, who Gratitude recently supported.
'Last' is a more powerful song with less of the sticky candy covered lament and more driving chords and angstful lyrics: "cuz a dream without colour/ well why even bother?" This is one of the strongest songs on the album, with a driving beat and engaging lyrics with a hint of something a little darker than the emo rock by numbers of The Calling and Maroon 5 and crisp production.
Catchy 'All In A Row' is quick to race into the smart chorus of "all our guns and daughters, lined up all in a row", it delivers fast-paced guitar solos and even a sneaky piano swirl in just under 3 minutes, but stays in your head for hours. The overdriven guitar preserves the rock integrity of what would otherwise be a pop song, albeit a masterful one.
We take a breather for 'The Greatest Wonder', which is a gentle ballad with aching vocals and yearning lyrics: "all of us burn for something", the anxious drum beat and echoing guitar delay is very U2-esque, as are the ever-impressive lyrics. The whole song is perfectly emotionally charged, with crescendos and sudden pauses in all the right places. This is the song that should have a video with the band wandering around in a desert, the sunlight glinting off their guitars- you know the score. 'Someone To Love' comes from a similar direction with an acoustic guitar part that almost comes straight out of U2, but progresses into a sweet and perfectly choreographed pop ballad.
'This Is The Part' and 'Feels Alright' provide more guitar driven emo-rock, it's edgy and there are even bad words spat out in the angry and emotional vocals- I take away the Jimmy Eat World comparison right here- Gratitude are something far superior; intelligent, impulsive and touching.
'Begin Again' is a powerful closing song with a fragile, shivery intro breaking into a slightly less interesting, but still endearing chorus. It's got enough layers to build a skyscraper and the effects in the verse make the hairs on your arms feel just a little perky.
This album contains a welcome mix of pop-rock suitable for teeny emo kids to adults alike. It's heartfelt and packed full of talent and witty lyrics. Whoever ends up buying their records, they're onto something infinitely infectious and capable of chart success.