Album Review: Oh Gravity – Never Fade Away
I have this album Never Fade Away by Oh Gravity listed as “chill alternative” on my coverage list, but really you could consider it a lot of different things. This album is inspiring, relaxing, beautiful, captivating, original, delightful… and with all of the qualifications an earthly production could possibly have, it’s “perfect.” I love this album.
Imagine a pop sensibility (and amiable voice) like someone like Ben Rector, then add to it the kind of full band ambiance of a worship band like Hillsong or Bethel. That’s the kind of album this is. “Every place – one beating heart” is the key lyric on the opener. The harmonies are sublime and the message is definitely one that encourages spiritual reflection.
“Falling” has a timeless pop chord progression. It almost feels like it’s from the 60s, but then the background layers and overall construction tips me off that it really is from 2016. I like the song, though, because of its tenderness. “I’ll be there to guide you when you’ve lost your way.” The lyrics are about falling in love with someone. Interestingly, it’s about making the commitment of marriage. I can appreciate that the song comes across as capturing a moment that begins a romance, rather than the totality of a romance.
“Never Fade Away,” the title track, is a quintessential pop rock song. There’s just enough bite in the guitars to make it honestly rock, but there’s enough poppy goodness in the vocals to keep it pop. The atmospheric synth work really makes it the perfect kind of music for the background while working or just relaxing with friends. This lyric, though, “the notes are still familiar; the way you play them’s changed.” Wow. A music metaphor for a relationship within a song. It’s well done and gripping, all the while going down smooth with pleasing-to-the-ear music.
“We’ll Grow Up Another Day” is a nice light-hearted tune in the middle of the album. It actually reminds me of an artist I recently covered named Andrew Sullivan. It’s got the same kind of upbeat strumming with an inherently positive message. I love the “ooh” parts on this track, creating a comfortable vibe in a song about staying young and innocent.
I think tracks five and six go together. They are titled “Welcome” and “Home” respectfully. “Welcome” is a reflection on life on earth. It’s about pain, hardship, and difficulties in life. It does so with a sound that will definitely make you think about the 80s (even if you’re too young to remember them). “Home,” then, takes it in a different direction, and is by far my favorite track on the album. The harmonies conjure images of peace and joy. “This will always be my home.” Maybe it’s just because of my own life stage (and maybe yours, too, reader!), but this one just jumps off the page for me. “There will always be a place inside for home…”
SPOILER ALERT: There’s actually a hidden track called “Maybe” that is really great. It’s the folkiest song on the album. (Honestly – band if you read this – I’d love a full album like this one!) It reminds me of a few different bands, but mostly The Low Anthem’s “Oh My God Charlie Darwin.” The range, expressions, and minimalistic instrumentation really work. The reflective lyrics about – well – maybe now being the time for action. It’s great. It’s something I do a lot in my own head being reflective on scenarios that are impossible, irrelevant, or just long gone. This track completely sucked me in and consequently made me wish for more music. Instead I listened again.
Thank you, dear ones, for reading. Give this album a spin from start to finish. In the end I’m not sure that “chill alternative” is totally the way to describe the album. I guess “exquisite” is not really a genre, but it’s how I would describe this. There’s a little something for everyone, and fans (readers?) of my reviews will find much to like on this beautiful EP.