As long as people are breaking up there will always be break up albums. You have to respect a break up album because it’s not only usually cathartic and therapeutic for the person who wrote it but often it's quite helpful listening for those who have recently gone through a breakup.
Matthew Cossel (vocals/guitar/keyboards) and Noah Reifsnyder (vocals/piano/keyboards/percussion) are the duo that make up Subtle Omen and came out with Heartless which you guessed it revolves around a breakup.
The music veers towards Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World although there are some odd deviations throughout. More on that later. There is no questioning that Reifsnyder and Cossel have high-pitched, nasally voices. It’s certainly an acquired taste. The bigger issue is that their singing is quite noticeably off-key enough times where it affects the listening experience. Hopefully, we will hear some improvement on their next album.
When it comes to the recording quality it's about that of a demo. I won’t go into specifics but there were a number of things left to be desired. On top of that some of the songs get off time, which takes more away from the songs.
The album’s first two songs are the strongest on the album. “Anymore” is straightforward song revolving around a basic drumbeat and chord progressions. Nonetheless the song is catchy and the vocal performance is one of the strongest on the album. “Alive” is also a solid song with a hopeful nostalgic vibe that feels just like Blink 182.
Things start to veer off after that but do get back on track. Some of the vocal performances on “Move” did not fare well. The most cringe inducing moment was the rapping, which I hope they never attempt again. As the album progresses things get a little bit better with “Distance” “Change the World” and “Awakening.”
There are some decent moments on Heartless but the band is going to have go back to basics and improve. They need to focus on staying in key when singing and staying in time before anything else. If they can’t get these things down in a recorded format it’s going to adversely affect the people who are going to want to come and see them live. Godspeed.
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