Album Review: Then I Met You | Love is a Chorus
Long time no review! After the release of the long-awaited Arkhon by Zola Jesus and little before the summer vacation (which I’m counting down the days for), I was fortunate enough to come across ‘Then I Met You’, the debut release of Love Is A Chorus (let’s call it LIAC to save some time). The album is an ode to true love, getting up close and personal with pure honesty, without typical, senseless exaggerations. Pressing Play >
The journey begins with a melancholic melody of echoing keys, dramatic strings and powerful, epic percussion building up and setting the tone for an emotional adventure in the depths of the heart. As this magical mix of ‘Intro’ fades into ‘Love of My Lifetime’, all suckers for love are fully satisfied, with overflowing romanticism and a generous offering of the elusive ‘forever love’: ‘I wanna love you all your days, I wanna tell you you’re the love of my lifetime’. Even though this rock ballad contains all the cliché, romantic film OST ingredients, it sounds so real and personal that one can only bow before the heart-rending expression of deep, true love by LIAC. The country-ish hue of Jonathan coloring the overall rock performance makes the dream of finding our soulmates more human and tangible. As the theme of eternal love expands: ‘When I’m old and gray, I’ll think about you’, the longing chords and backing vocals opening ‘Fall in Love’ immediately set a broody mood, enhanced by the crawling percussion. Sad and beautiful, this slow burner makes the heart ache for absolutely no reason other than the weeping chords and strings as well as the affecting voice of Jonathan. The rich instrumental carries a heavy emotional load and so does the vocal delivery. This goes on the top of my personal favorites.
The reason everything until now is so effortlessly touching is that everything until now sounds experiential, like real life stories in the making. I’d be shocked to hear that the artist’s lyrics where written by someone else or that everything is made up for concept purposes of the album. But there is no such case here. The following, radio-friendly ‘If & When’ makes for a promising pop hit with its foxy verses and bright, catchy chorus: ‘When the world starts crushing down around you, I’ll be here for you’. Somewhere between the innocence of the 90’s and the production standards of today, ‘If & When’ is a successful paradigm of a thoughtfully-made upbeat love song. Considering the amount of love songs dressed as ‘hit singles’ only to end up sounding dated and cheesy, ‘If & When’ is well-crafted and sets itself apart from the mass. Little before the end, ‘Can’t Stop’ takes us to this hopeless state where we feel unable to recover from loss. The heart has a memory of its own after all. Once again, the guitar and piano blend into an utterly emotional mix to cry over and so is the performance. The closing ‘With You’ has all the qualities we’ve witnessed so far combined with an explosive climax, an instrumental orgy for an encore to remember. The album is fading out the way it was introduced, with the artist fully committing to everlasting love: ‘I’ll stay with you, I will love you all the days’.
It takes bravery and emotional maturity to let yourself receive and offer unconditional love, to open up and become vulnerable, to accept the faulty nature of our human kind. Love Is A Chorus speaks about love in a way we’ve definitely heard before but with an emotional rendering that is rarely found nowadays. Every piece sounds too romantic to be real yet too real to be fictional and so the outcome is this auto-biographical story about love and heartbreak, the kind we see in films and wish we were the protagonists. If I were to describe this album in 3 words I’d go with pure, fragile and emotionally abundant. If I were to recommend it to someone, I feel that the audience of Tom Chaplin and Keane is a fitting target group to appreciate this body of work. This is the kind of music we need more of in the weird days we live in and LIAC is the kind of art that should lead our paths of loving and sharing.
Until next time!
Enjoy 'Then I Met You' here: