There’s a singer/songwriter from Buffalo, New York who wants to share a piece of his life and experience with you. His name is Wren Williams, and his life and experience is Independent Thought, the culmination of the musical evolution from glam punk to indie rock.
“Get On Top (The American Dream)” sounds very much like classic hard rock. The drums keep the beat moving along at a steady head nodding pace, and the scaling guitar portion of the melody sounds really good with its sparse placement. This is a nice, meat and potatoes American song and is a good way to get the blood pumping to start the album off.
“This Nation” has an indie, international music vibe. It almost sounds like soulful R&B but with a pop rock twist. I am a fan of spoken samples used properly, and I think the use was entirely appropriate here. The vocals weave in and out of the song, with other sounds taking the place of spoken words whenever possible, and it shows cohesion between the different elements of the song.
“Get Up” reminds me of the music heard in movies like Van Wilder and American Pie – young yet optimistic, with the higher and smoother vocals really taking the sound to the next level. Near the end the song stops a bit then ends out with a nice recap of the melody from before.
I was already excited to get to “My Friend Snowden” from the song title alone. The song announced itself ominously before flying into a hard-hitting riff and capturing lyrics, and the feeling continues throughout. The chorus very quickly embedded itself into my head, particularly since it was so appropriate to the title.
“Counting Seconds” has a more folky sound. It uses only vocals, an acoustic guitar and an atmospheric sound – and it’s absolutely perfect for this particular song. It’s supposed to be a simpler sound, yet the guitar chords added to the lyrics give the song depth that couldn’t be achieved any other way. I don’t miss drums or bass at all, though I can see a remixed version of this song coming out later to include those elements.
“Where To Go” seems like a light love song, but becomes a much deeper story that hit right at home for me. The description of lack of direction in life, even if you start on a path that seems clear, seems like a theme that could ring true to just about anybody at any given time.
Independent Thought is more than just a random collection of songs – they serve a purpose. They tell a stunning story of American life as it is right now. The album covers both tangible issues as well as intangible emotions and is a really creative story, one that I really enjoyed listening to. Give this a listen!
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