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Album Spotlight: Roses & Revolutions - "Under The Spell"

>>There may not be a better album right now that accurately depicts the mess we’ve all found ourselves in lately. Millions of people across the planet, stuck in perpetual slow motion, weeks on end in the same house, feeling completely detached from each other and the entire world feeling the same way.

The daily highs and lows replicated by the same ups and downs of every week since isolation began. Roses and Revolutions has always had their finger on the pulse of music fans, since The Pines erupted on two different continents, and this new LP is no different. It ranges from melancholy to moody to motivated accentuated by smart song writing, subtle pop heartbeats and poignant melodies that offer a glimmer of hope.

Being released just before the height of the pandemic in the United States, and more than likely written well before, proves that this isn’t just some group of reactionary songs in the wake of isolation. The previously released I Don’t have Feelings Anymore is deeper than just mere reaction to the pandemic. It’s an emotional and sympathetic look into a sad loneliness that we’ve all once felt. Alyssa Coco’s voice is pure butter, a sweet and slightly salty vibrato with a smooth transition from her deeper registers to the peaks of her range. You can actually feel her voice in this track, in a real way. This isn’t the trained Stanislavsky Disney kid all grown up, using tools of the trade to “make believe” emotion, but rather Meisner, Coco literally embodying the true feeling of despair as it starts from her toes, coagulates in her soul, and flows flawlessly through her handsome voice.

Noise in my head is built for the stage. A dramatic and interest piquing intro keeps you guessing on first listen to whether the song would be more esoteric but when the drums punch in at around the one-and-a-half-minute mark it leaves you wanting to listen a second time to make sure it’s the same song. The melody was built for pop, but it has an alternative, 10,000 maniacs feeling instead. Quickly after this song ends, Looking Glass starts. The built for pop radio feeling remains, but it isn’t bubblegum pop that your little sister is listening to. It’s the same station that plays Lorde and then The Red Hot Chili Peppers back to back, a mix of hip hop, soul, and pop all in one. Roses and Revolutions influences must be broad and deep.

The fifth song on the LP is It Could Happen to you. There is a gradual build on the album to get to this song. It’s in the perfect spot on the album and by the time you get to it you’re ready for it. It’s catchy, well sung, and the hook is addicting, a guitar riff mimicking the melody to reinforce it and make it stick. There’s a ticking like a clock that picks up at the 2:15 mark, just after the bridge. It’s pure genius and gives the song an urgency that was in the melody and lyrics but is accented by the tick tock of the clock and at song’s end, there is a washing effect that continues with the time theme.

The album ends with the previously released I don’t have feelings anymore and while “I used to feel angry, sad, and bored” is repeated for the last time, you suddenly get the feeling that those feelings don’t exist anymore. The major chord at the end, no notes sustained outside, just an inverted major chord give off the slightest feeling, the tiniest glimmer, of hope. Maybe that’s all we need right now. To know that times are in fact sad, but won’t stay that way forever and at the end of every sad and lonely day, is the faint, and maybe inverted, sheen of true hope.

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