This is the album review I’ve promised to write a few days ago. Originally I planned to have this up yesterday, but I just wasn’t ready to write a complete review. So, right now I’m sitting here, music on, notebook next to me where I wrote down all my first impressions and my final impressions after re-listening over and over again.
Astoria is their fourth studio album and if you are familiar with their work, you won’t be surprised that they have included transition tracks, for example like they did in Ever After.
Another thing you will notice at the very beginning is the 1980′s theme. In interviews the band said that this album is (especially) inspired by the movie The Goonies (1985).
If you like Queen, Prince or Michael Jackson you should definitely give this a shot, there are a few stylistic similarities. Keep reading to know what I think about each song!
#1 Astoria / 6:57 / My first impression on this track was really positive, though I was sure that I needed to listen to this song a few more times, to get the most of it (which turned out to be true). The instrumental intro is long(er) compared to other songs and you’re taken on a rollercoaster of emotions while you drive through years and even decades if you can let go of the world for ~seven minutes. My favorite lines in this are
On a good day I’m the bad news
For the wrong girl with the right wounds
#2 Burning Up / 4:05 / When I first listened to this I was instantly thinking of Queen (not too sure if I mixed something up there). Anyways this is a solid second track. It has a lighter feeling to it than Astoria and the vocals are almost all high notes. Good job, Ramsay! If I had to describe this song in one word it’d be vintage. This could have been produced in the 1980′s, no doubt. Favorite lines are:
One minute you need me
And the next we’re stuck
Don’t say you don’t miss me that much
Don’t say I don’t still make you blush
Sometimes you can’t yell loud enough
Sometimes a whisper’s just too much
#3 Yesterday / 4:14 / Again, this has a vintage feeling to it. The instruments are supporting/underlining Josh’s voice perfectly. The text breaks let the listener enjoy the instruments and focus on the music. After re-listening many times I have come to the conclusion that this is one of the happy tracks off the album and it has completely won me over. I’d say these are my favorite lines:
So yeah, my timing sucked
I’m just so good at fucking up
But I’m fixing to change my luck
Turns out enough’s enough
#4 One Love / 4:01 / This track is very radio-worthy (they are already playing it in some countries; not sure which though, cause I don’t listen to the radio). One Love was the first single and in my opinion they chose the right track for that. It’s very emotional and kicked off a lot of Astoria excitement. My favorite lines off of this are
And you’ve been wishing but you don’t know how to stay
And I’ve been broken but I’m better every day
#5 August Burns Red / 0:46 / Drama. It is dramatic! There are no vocals in this, which feels right. It’s a great “bridge” to the next song. My favorite part is from middle to end.
#6 This Means War / 3:24 / I absolutely love how they included the backing vocals/voices in this one. To get a connection I thought I had to replay this song over and over, but I couldn’t really find a connection. I still like it! My favorite line:
From the same old stories to the new ones
#7 Hospital Bells / 0:38 / First thing I wrote down after listening to this track was: 38 seconds of sadness with hope lingering in the background / ready to jump at you. I like it, it’s too short for me to say more about it.
#8 Dearly Departed / 4:19 / I had really high expectations for this one. The focus lays on the lyrics and I love how the music is rising slooowly in the middle and then suddenly stops for the background vocals. One word: epic! It’s a heartfelt song, with soft vocals; I had an instant connection to this song. It’s a wonderful ballad and includes “throwbacks” to their older songs, which is my favorite part:
Every masterpiece I’d write again
You’ll always be my porcelain
I crossed my heart
But I stuttered too
~until end of song~
#9 Hollywood Renaissance / 1:08 / Tragic. It reminds of the album Ever After. It could be used as an intro to movies or tv series. Whole track is my fave part.
=> 9.75/10 (the end is a little cut off)
#10 Shut Up And Kiss Me / 3:12 / My least favorite song off of the album, which I knew when I first heard this song. This is just personal preference, I bet there are some who say it’s their favorite track. It is still a solid song for me and I wouldn’t skip it when listening through the whole album. The pacing fits, it’s easy to listen to and has an old-school feeling to it. My favorite lines are
You can say I kinda borrowed this
But if you’re young it’s new I guess
=> 6.5 – 7/10
#11 Who Do You Love / 3:52 / The very first thought that crossed my mind here was that Who Do You Love starts in your veins and resonates in you heart and soul. This is probably one of my favorites. Highly radio-worthy too. It’s perfectly placed in the album as well. Came to the conclusion that I do absolutely love it! Favorite lines:
I won’t come back to you broken
I won’t stay away too long
Even if words I’ve spoken
Seem to still come out wrong
I’ll get my shit back together
Get right where I belong
Who do you love
#12 Never Say Die / 0:29 / It’s like the pre-track ro Wildfire, because it seems to be building up to it. I might describe it as slightly melodramatic, but it definitely fits.
#13 Wildfire / 4:04 / Many people should be able to connect to this song. I remember being hooked on this song from the first listen, it is on of my absolute favorites. Powerful. Favorite lines:
And maybe you’re here because you wanna come home
But what if you’re just afraid to be alone
#14 While We’re Young / 4:00 / I instantly connected to this song. It could be the next single in my opinion, will be on repeat for me at least. The background music is faster than the vocals, which is perfect because sometimes words aren’t that easily found. Fave lines:
So sing it back if you’re with me
I wanna hear how your heart speaks
#15 Forget Me Not / 3:48 / This is a healing knife in your heart. Doesn’t make sense? Listen to the song, then it does. Hold tissues near! This ballad has a lost loves and friendships vibe. Another one of my favorites, because it’s very emotional and has great background music. My favorite lines are:
If memories are shadows
We best not waste the light
I won’t leave you my friend
I will ease you back in
To the cradle again
#16 And Straight On Til Morning / 0:34 / A little break for your heart, but it’s still squeezed tight. Be prepared for the final track, because you can’t. The beginning and the end are my favorite parts.
#17 End Of An Era / 7:40 / The longest track of the album is also the last (but not least). This is a song that’s going to destroy hearts. I would say it’s the musical masterpiece of this album. It reawakenes Face the music and Ever After memories. Also this is a song that requires your full attention, it shouldn’t be played in the background. Dry tears of emotion. This is an amazing ending song for a wonderful album, it makes you want to repeat the album over and over. My favorite lyrics of this song are:
I’m warning ya
I’m coming for
Coming for ya
It’s do or die
For you and I
And I’ll never be
That led me here
But our future still
If we shadows have offended
I hope your heart can still be mended
I hope you know that I don’t blame you my dear friend
Always will love you still
But Astoria must end
And my favorite part is:
High time I face you Astoria
So get up and face me Astoria
Come face the music Astoria
It’s about fucking time now Astoria
I’m wasting away here Astoria
=> 10/10 (Masterpiece!)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I hope you liked this review and I would love to know which track’s your favorite. Or if you haven’t listened to the album yet, if you’re interested in it?
The album is available in many online stores such as iTunes, Amazon, Goolge Play, or on streaming services such as Spotify (only to name a few).
Have a good weekend!
*Original post from October 24th 2015