The Naked and Famous - Recover
The Naked and Famous
Typically when a band sees a massive lineup change it can spell disaster. That's what happened in 2019 for The Naked and Famous with the departure of drummer Jesse Wood and Keyboardist Aaron Short. It left the band down to it's two driving forces Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers. Through that strife they've crafted an album that seeks to do exactly what it says: "recover". This album is about the pain of loss, in all it's forms, and the things we do to get beyond it. Whether it be drugs, sex, sadness or pain we all follow similar paths on the road to recovery and The Naked and Famous explore those in all their indie darling extravagance. When I think about my favorite Naked and Famous songs they always have a note of truth wrapped amongst the synths and dancey tracks. on Recover however self exploration seems to take a much bigger role. There is "Bury Us" a song about being right on the edge of failure where any kind of breeze may tip you one way or another, or "Easy" where they struggle understand why things just aren't easy like they should be. Then suddenly "Come as You Are" springs through showing that a real path to happiness is one that comes through acceptance and trust. On this album it feels like The Naked and Famous have found a connection with their electronic side that has been missing from a lot of their more recent stuff. Perhaps the departing of two of their members meant that they needed to find a way to simplify and dial in their music. "Everybody Knows" a straight up pop love song is a welcome treat smack dab in the middle of the album, searing with summer heat.
"Well-Rehearsed" is this slow burn of a track that builds from a simple synth line into this big bold song trying to figure out how to stop going through the motions. When Alisa asks "what if I let go, lightly?" it hits such a heart string, imagining giving up something of yourself to be a part of someone else. For me the real standout on the album is "Death". It is a song that is so incredibly sad, but also so full of love. The idea of dying together or as they say it "the party will still be going, but we have to leave. I think it's better knowing, than having to believe." Acceptance of death, or the lack there of it there is in out modern society. Instead of imagining the sadness The Naked and Famous imagine the beauty of being loved. "The Sound of My Voice" has this quality like it's being sung right to you, deep into your soul, it likely should be the closer but the album is quite long for a pop record at 15 tracks. This is a really beautiful and soft album that still manages to hit some dancey pop moments. It is also one of their best in awhile.
8.1 out of 10