Review of Noah and the Whale's album The First Days Of Spring
Right. On to the review. This is an album about a breakup, very openly and obviously. Laura Marling, ex-member of Noah and the Whale has split from singer Charlie Fink and the result, is this. Considering the youth of the pair, you would be forgiven for expecting a cliché ridden revenge album. This is most definitely not the case.
The album opens with the 7 minute long, epic title track and sets the tone wonderfully. The record is very downbeat, and I can't emphasize this enough; even in it's happier moments. Case in point: the song Stranger. When Fink sings 'You know in a year, things are gonna be better. You know, in a year, I'm gonna be happy,' there's a hint of regret about the idea of moving on, and the intention of the lyric is defined in its delivery. Referencing the same song, Fink sings: 'Last night, I slept with a stranger, for the first time since you've gone. Regretfully lying naked, I reflect on what I've done.' It's an eminently relatable song, and a standout. The only upbeat moment in the whole record comes from Love Of An Orchestra, where Fink sings about how his love of music is equivalent to the love of another person. It's a great interlude, along with the two instrumentals that bookend the short song.
Honestly, I could dissect every song and tell you about the many highs the record throws at you during it's perfect 42 minute runtime. But, basically, here's the deal. I listen to a lot of albums- some are good, some are bad, but it's hard for me to really be emotionally affected by any of them, to see them as more than just some songs etched onto a CD, as musical instruments playing in accordance with one another. This is different. I could spend hours talking about the diversity of the music, or the sheer quality of the words, but, when an album comes from total left field like this and knocks you on your pasty arse, there's nothing you can really say. Incredibly powerful. Buy it now, when you can.
There's a film coming to run simultaneously with the album. I can't wait.