Beneath the Waves was created by the Australian band Petrichor. The recording was made fairly simple by the use of computers in the bedroom of songwriter Brendan Ryan. A failed relationship and the associated feelings as things fall apart is the basic connection between this set of songs.
The album starts off with an interesting “Overture” where we get a short glimpse into troubles bubbling under the surface. While the vocals are not easy to understand, the overbearing music with just a hind of something happening in the background prepares the listener for the full album. “Dream” and “Summertime” start the relationship off with a level of whimsy and hope that you often find in a budding romance. These songs are the happiest and most melodic of the set.
“By Your Side” is the first hint of a problem in the relationship, and this is where a slight change in the music also starts. It was interesting to hear how the group uses the different styles of music to portray the changing emotions on the lurking break-up. The intermixed musical interludes add interest and theatrical drama to the album.
One by one, the songs each slowly get darker. They have changed from the hopeful summer nights to a combination of metal and classic rock in “Take A Long Hard Look.” The songs towards the end of the album take a sad and darker turn. The band continues to carefully pair the music style with the underlying emotions of each song for the perfect pairings.
“Beneath The Waves” is the longest song on the album and it seems fitting to come at the end of the relationship. The visual of the waves beating against the shore as the last pieces of the lost love pound in your head is a nice touch. It also seems that as with most things on this album, even the song length has meaning. This is perhaps the longest part of breaking-up, that point where you know things are not healthy but that last step to end things just is too hard.
“Let Me” closes out the album and the emotions overflow in this final farewell for the relationship. This is the goodbye to things as they were and it is time to move on. It is a sad song but in an odd way also very soothing.
The highlights of this album is the story the songs weave together. The story is not always obvious but taking a moment to not only listen to the lyrics but also notice the small changes in the music along the way helps to lead the listener through this break-up. I enjoyed the mix of classic rock elements with the more story-telling elements of folk music.
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