High school English teachers will tell you that the best way to write is to remember KISS, Keep It Simple, Stupid. The most loyal believers and doers are young teenage boys in love or discovering God, which is exactly the case here.
"I can never let go of you ... /you stole my heart/your smile cuts through my veins" chants Bouwer in Afrikaans on Saint Angel, track two of this new release, "Almal Maak Voute". Congratulations dude, harder rock bands might make fun of you and your teacher might not agree with the violence, but you deserve 10 out of 10 and a gold star on your forehead.
Albums like these are easy to insult, and Bouwer will disagree with me, but that's often why they're so entertaining. For lack of a better word, it's sweet. And I'll go as far as to admit I would have seen the beautiful poetry expressed above if I was 15.
Most of the tracks relish and wallow with ambition, and are often expressed through questions: "Why can't we just all get along?" And cringe-worthy end-of-the-world teenage statements: "Life is a song/even if you don't know the words or the rhythm/don't stop dancing."
The album has clear and obvious origins in Die Heuwels Fantasties school of thought and emo founding fathers' Dashboard Confessional first album. Because of this, the electronic bleeps, tear-jerking piano bits and upbeat drums, the album's sound often comes across as a less experimental attempt by Architecture In Helsinki. Especially, during track 3, State of Mind, when the female vocals kick in.
An overall worthy attempt that either makes for easy listening or holding your teddy bear while thinking of that handsome boy in grade 12, the latter depending on whether you're a flowering young teenage girl.
Let's just hope whoever she is, doesn't notice the unfortunate naïve mistakes that the producer made during recording and mastering. The only real snag and con on this very entertaining release, filled and executed with teenage dreams we all remember when we're older. When God becomes something you only talk about when you're drunk and alone, and soulmate doesn't rhyme with cell mate.
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