Three years on from their eponymous debut, MONEY seek out clarity and guidance away from their ethereal sound and towards a reconstruction of orchestral and folk music…
And I’ve never felt so disappointed by anything in my entire life.
If you read the review of The Shadow Of Heaven, you will know that MONEY’s debut was rated rather highly on here scoring our number 1 spot for 2013). So to say high expectations were set for Suicide Songs, would be a fair understatement.
To say I wanted to love Suicide Songs would be nothing but truth. When Suicide Song’s leading single, You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky, I was immediately caught in between the two past worlds of MONEY. The evanescent bursts of MONEY’s beginning and the channelling of their majestic aura into a piece of art. Now in this new world of MONEY, the Manchester/London group appeared to have allowed Jamie to write anything his brain could think of.
It must be said however, that the instrumentation, with the string sections in particular, sounds truly beautiful. But when Jamie commits the atrocity of becoming the town crier, this beauty is immediately lost, turning grey and dull, negating any form of attention, rather than attracting it.
The four track’s on this LP which in all honesty save Suicide Songs from being a complete zero, are I Am the Lord, Not Here, Night Came and All My Life (the four track EP, which if it was in fact this, would score an eight).
The combination of I Am the Lord and Not Here at the beginning of the album, lead me to quickly begin falling head over heels for Suicide Songs, as MONEY’s creativity and majestic sound was as prevalent as ever. Both tracks showed the group had progressed in such a way, which provided obvious signs of change, while still maintaining the sound of MONEY that many including myself, fell in love with.
And then the mixed reaction of …Both Sides of the Sky follows, which provides an opportunity for new fans to become irreverent, while attempting to provide older fans with another Goodnight London (almost, don’t take that as a definite).
Shortly followed by Night Came, Suicide Songs then nosedives into AM territory, starting out reasonably strong, before completely disintegrating into a dismal form of the album’s better half.
While so may not agree with this (and others may still cry about calling AM a complete catastrophe), I’d be lying if I didn’t say my heart dropped when I played Suicide Songs all the way through, and not in the way I was hoping.
The ‘biggest’ track on the album I’ll Be The Night, faces my biggest grievances however.
Many organisations have praised the work of I’ll Be The Night, but it can’t go unnoticed that the song is roughly six years old. While no major crime has been committed here, as the song is an old fan favourite, it makes me question why it’d didn’t feature on The Shadow Of Heaven in its original form. Even without it, Suicide Songs would still be nearly forty minutes long with eight tracks, so the need to feature a badly remastered fan classic, seems quite frankly, pointless.
Then with the album’s closer A Cocaine Christmas And An Alcoholics’ New Year, it feels as if Jamie attempted to sound as ethereal as possible, recapturing his passion on The Shadow Of Heaven. But in the process, sounding more like your drunken uncle, who tries to give life advice to the stool in the corner.
I’m caught in between beautifully depressing ballads and aggravatingly boring ballads. While MONEY’s presence will forever be focused upon deeply set lyrics, depicting tales of bereavement, addiction and anything else that goes well with sombre piano tones; Suicide Songs sadly falls into the second album curse category. But casting my own high expectations and disappointment aside, Suicide Songs really would be much more favourable as a four track EP.
It’s just like a bad one night stand really. You might feel better about it after a few weeks, but you’d much rather forget about it straight away in all honesty.