Walk the Moon - What if Nothing
Walk the Moon
What If Nothing
I reviewed 2015's TALKING IS HARD, Walk the Moon's third record early in this project back in 2015. I absolutely loved it, it was shiny indie pop that you could shake your ass to as the hit single "Shut up and Dance" so eloquently put it. It brought some innocence and life to pop music which was finally exiting it's Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry obsession. It take a real knack to be able to nail guitar driven dance music and there are only a few bands that do it right. Walk the Moon was one of them Penguin Prison being one of the others. The first single was in a word, troubling. "Headphones" is a percussive driven song which bangs hard, but has so many annoying elements like the vocal coming through a blow-horn effect and guitar riff that sounds like Rage Against the Machine more than Walk the Moon. They thankfully don't stick with this sound, which is a whole other issue on the record, with "One Foot" coming in and swinging things back to their old style. This album feels frantic and disjointed, walls of noise constantly coming at you but with little behind them. "All I Want" has it's moments of brilliance with swirling vocals and a drum beat that is super tight, but when so much is going on in a song it's hard to find your bearings. You never can get to what Walk the Moon are trying to do, and maybe they don't even know. Their language is usually a bit flowery but on this album they take it to a whole other level with verbiage that is hard to put in the same place with Walk the Moon.
"Sound of Awakening" sums up this album really well. There are tons of vocal effects a la Phil Collins, and totally crazy production. They are throwing everything at the wall on this track and some of it does stick, but for the most part it is far to confusing to really connect. They have hits in them, you can feel it in your bones, but they never put it together here. The album is quite long at almost an hour most of which feels unnecessary. Walk the Moon also have big time producer friends and you would expect some of those names to slip onto this record, but they never do. The album feels like so many misses piled on top of each other it is really hard to like. "Good to Be High" which you would think could have some modicum of subtlety with a title like that is totally on the nose. I didn't expect this album to be such a departure from their previous, nor did I expect it to be this bad. You'll leave this record wanting so much more and my suggestion just listen to TALKING IS HARD and pretend What If Nothing never happened.
4.0 out of 10