Sophomore releases are always a tricky business. Wanting to improve and mature your sound collides with a need to reach a broader audience with a more accessible sound. With Apparitions of Melody, the boys of Kids in the Way attempt to do both. And on the solid foundation set with their debut Safe from a Losing Fight, Kids in the Way builds one impressive sophomore release.
Apparitions… is a harder album than their debut. Ironically, the melodies that nearly defined that release take a back seat as the harder riffs take the driver's position. The melodic emo edge that Kids in the Way's earlier release possessed has not disappeared, however; but Dave Pelsue takes more chances with his voice and range, screaming on most every track. The overall Kids sound has changed and is now much more accessible, but it can still easily be recognized as the same guys responsible for Safe for the Losing Fight.
"The album is a lot deeper. In many ways, it's similar to what we've written before, but the l yrical content and musicianship are much stronger. We tapped into something more intense this time around. It just has a certain vibe," Pelsue states in their official bio. And it could not be more true. The lyrics are stronger, deeper, and more emotionally driven. Kids uses the parallel of a man murdered by Jack the Ripper to explain how our judgements on people can have serious consequences in "Last Day of 1888," "Hang me tonight in the false and jaded light…You're the jack, back in black, ripping air from our lungs." On "Even Snakes Have Hearts," Jesus' pain from being betrayed by Judas is related, "So kiss my face, commit yourself to treason. Now run away. You broke my heart… I hope it's worth your life." Emotion bleeds from every track on Apparitions of Melody.
Kids in the Way has always been an acquired taste, but those new to them will have an easier time digesting them the first time around with this release. It is faster, edgier, and an all around improvement over Safe from the Losing Fight. Fans of their debut will not be disappointed, and newcomers should embrace Kids in the Way with open arms.- Review date: 05/08/05, written by Josh Taylor
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