About Me

22. Tucson. University of Arizona 2014 graduate. I like to read, write, and obsess over television shows and music, which you'll find a bit of here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Album Review: Midnight Cinema, Lightning in a Bottle

Artist: Midnight Cinema
Title: Lightning in a Bottle
Release Date: August 26th, 2014

Some of you may or may not know about the band Thriving Ivory. They were Vh1's Artist You Ought to Know in 2008 or 2009, I believe, with their song "Angels On The Moon." That's how I personally discovered them, when I watched the music countdowns and collection of videos on MTV and Vh1 in the mornings before school. They are in my top five favorite bands and their first and second albums are absolutely amazing. I would describe them as sort of pop rock, indie with a big emphasis on lyrics. The lead singer Clayton Stroope has a very unique, sort of raspy voice that I just love. It truly makes them stand out in the sea of voices you hear on the radio now.

Since then, they've gone through a few changes. They are now known as Midnight Cinema and just put out this album, Lightning in a Bottle, which adds to the handful of songs they had on a previous EP. I just bought it the other day and decided to do a listen through a few times and do a review.

"Perfect Stranger," "Edge of the Earth," "Back to the Butterflies," "Sooner or Later," "Love Your Lights Out," and "Someday Never Came" are all songs that were on the previous EP or a special release. I've been listening to these songs for a good six months, I think, and I love them all. The band, though a little different now, still has a very similar sound. The songs are different, of course, and there is variety between albums, but you know you're listening to the same band. A song not included is "Crazy Beautiful," which is from that initial EP and I absolutely adore.

The band, like so many, has a way of heightening emotions in a way that is completely relatable. It's hard to put into words. In their first album, there are dark tones and themes to many of the songs inside the lyrics, but the actual music is more mellow or even upbeat as a contrast. I've found that they become more upbeat from album to album. On first listen to the new songs on this album, I definitely get that feel.

The album begins with "Counting Down," which has a sort of roadtrip vibe.

One day we're gonna leave this all behind

Driving down the coast of ninety-nine

We were searching for a place we could never find

In contrast, the same song has an acoustic version at the end of the album - this little detail is great to "bookend" the album itself - and is obviously slowed down. It also features singer Emily Rath. Her vocals pair with Clayton's fit perfectly. They both sound like they belong in a smokey bar or coffee shop, with a keyboard and acoustic guitar. 

On to the title track, "Lighting in a Bottle." I already love the lyrics here. The chorus is very wordy, which I love to see from this group. I can see why it was picked to be the title track. I'm not sure if it stands out starkly from the rest, but it does take the front seat of the album. 

The album was just what I expected to see from Midnight Cinema - based off their previous discography from their Thriving Ivory days - catchy, lyrical and stunning vocals. Which, on a side note, is as amazing live as it is recorded. In a previous EP that features quite a few live tracks from a show in Salt Lake City, Clayton Stroope definitely proves that not all artists are overly auto-tuned.  

Check out the new album on iTunes, but definitely go back and see their previous work as Thriving Ivory. You will not be disappointed. 

I leave you with the music video for one of the songs off the album, "Edge of the Earth" - eat your cinematography heart out!

 Until next time, Rose

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