Sleeping With Sirens’ new album is out and according to the “gossip,” it’s a ringer!
Gossip is an anthemic album. Nearly every track feels like an injection of confidence and contains a can-do attitude. It is an album perfect for playing in full before a big game, a concert, or a show. Gossip feels like the album that becomes your ritual to listen to before every big moment in your life.
The album begins with the title track, which is bomb. “Gossip” starts with a clapping beat under frontman Kellin Quinn’s vocals, before kicking the drums and guitars into gear. This song felt like quintessential Sleeping With Sirens, and had me bopping my head while I wished I already knew all the words. It feels like a song that most likely will be a fan favorite to hear live. I kind of wish that “Gossip” had been one of the pre-album singles, while also happy that a rocking song like this was kept under wraps until the album release.
Up next is “Empire to Ashes,” “Legends,” and “Trouble”, all of which were singles released prior to the album. “Empire to Ashes” is a stadium rock smash, musically similar to Swedish metalcore band Amaranthe’s “Drop Dead Cynical” with lyrics that potentially contain “Game of Thrones” references. It feels more like older Sleeping With Sirens, a throwback gem hidden on an album that works to move the band’s sound further. “Legends” was the first single off the album, and rightly so: it plays like a musical jolt of confidence, blending real instruments and synthesizers–the first track on the album to do so–to create a hauntingly intense song. “Legends” has been declared the official song of the 2018 Winter Olympics. “Trouble” was decent, but is easily one of the weaker tracks on the album. While the lyrics are well-done, the musicality of this song left something to be desired. (To read my in-depth discussion of these singles, click the song titles to read my single reviews.)
“One Man Army” starts simply with an acoustic guitar, before building up to a more synthesized track. The opening lead me to think I was getting an acoustic song, and while I am sad it was not to be, I was still happy with what I got. This song makes me feel pumped up, like I can take on whatever’s in front of me.
“Cheers” may be the shortest track on Gossip, but it packs a musical punch. It contains a stellar bass line that really carries the song, along with the heavy beat and rocking guitars. However, the lyrics detracted from the song. The song’s message, which is to ignore the negative things people say because “we march to the beat of a different drum,” was only conveyed through the short chorus, while the verses were mostly lists of different types of people in the verses. With a message like this, it seems like more effort could have been put into these lyrics; as of now, it feels like this song was hastily thrown together to add one more track to the album.
“Closer” is about surviving through the darkest moments of life. The lighter tone of the song creates what feels like the most hopeful song on Gossip. “Hole In My Heart” follows in a much darker contrast, featuring hauntingly sad music as Quinn sings about depression. The song paraphrases and adapts lyrics from the childhood song “Rain Rain Go Away” to fit the darker content. “I Need to Know” talks about a broken past relationship. This song felt like a filler track of sorts, nothing new or noteworthy. To me, it was one of the weaker tracks on Gossip.
“The Chase” had me feeling like Sleeping With Sirens had rolled back into a high school band. It felt reminiscent of their earlier music, while also sounding a bit like a beginner pop-punk band song. Something about that combination endeared this track to me, and has had me going back a lot to this particular song.
The album closes out with “War,” which brings a uplifting feel to the album. It’s that perfect closing track, a mix of hopeful and sad. “War” sounds like a song that would play during the closing of a film, while wrap-up shots of the main characters play into a black screen and credits.
Overall, I enjoyed Gossip. My favorite tracks include “Gossip,” “Empire to Ashes,” and “Legends.” There were certain tracks that rang stronger than others, but everything came together to form a solid album. Gossip marks Sleeping With Sirens’ first venture into a more techno-rock sound, which could either continue to work or end badly depending on future endeavors. I was mildly disappointed that a purely acoustic track was nowhere to be found, as I feel it would have balanced out the heavier, highly-produced tracks on the album.
My one disappointment was that Sleeping With Sirens seems to have completely dropped the “screamo” part of their sound. That has always been a part of the band’s sound, even on Madness, and what initially drew me into their music. The lack of higher vocals and notes from Quinn, which has also been a long-time hallmark of Sleeping With Sirens’ music, surprised me as well. It just may be that Quinn’s vocal cords can no longer handle the screaming, and that his voice has dropped thus making it harder to achieve those higher vocals.
Other than a couple of personal discrepancies, Gossip is another win for Sleeping With Sirens.
What did you think of Gossip, and what are some of your favorite songs off the album? Let me know in the comments below!
You can listen to the full album here:
To hear more from Sleeping With Sirens, check them out on Spotify! You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (swsband), and subscribe to their YouTube for music videos and other upcoming surprises! Check out their website for tour info, merch, and more!
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