'XXIIIXIX' / TWENTYTHREENINETEEN: ALBUM REVIEW

'XXIIIXIX' / TWENTYTHREENINETEEN: ALBUM REVIEW

BY EMMA SCHOORS

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twentythreenineteen’s debut album, XXIIIXIX, is a whirlwind of painful familiarity and eventual ease. Lyrics rich with personal experiences and frustrations, the effort reflects the inherent tension in friendships, relationships, losses, and everything in between with a concoction of genre-bending instrumentals. 

Standout track “You” bounces simple yet demanding lyrics from a variety of airy instruments. The heaviness of the vocals perfectly balance the lightness that comes from the guitars. With piercing lyrics that jab straight into the general theme of the album, this track flows by like a great book that you never want to end. 

“Losing Touch” has an urgency to it that separates it from the rest of the LP. The title itself is a nice way of summing up not only lost relationships with others but with oneself, and these two examples are both crystal clear in the lyrics. The bass line acts as a sort of ghost-like model for the rest of instruments to follow. Sharing this same urgency with a faster pace, “I Am” creates the perfect storm of vocals and instruments. Lyrics effortlessly collide with the tone of the vocals to adhere to a more powerful vibe. 

“Tangled” is one of the more upbeat songs on the record. To bring the instruments to their full potential, this track cleverly uses simpler guitar chords and manipulates them throughout. This complexity that lies in the pre-choruses is what helps to keep things unpredictable. Speaking of unpredictability, “Convince Me” rips out the nostalgia that takes an undertone in some of the other songs. The vocals throughout the LP have a desperate approach that makes the emotions in the lyrics even more authentic. The title of this track acts as not only an addition to the honesty clear in the lyrics, but as a sort of bet for listeners to dive deeper into the meaning.

Some other major standouts are opening track “Lost” and closing track “Drained”, which both suffice as openers and closers of a much broader picture; the experiences that molded the record and pop up periodically in the lyrics. The effort as a whole features honest and raw lyrics that echo the airy yet powerful instruments. Making an entire record full of raw emotion that connects to people something only a band full of majorly talented and passionate people can do, and this record is proof that by describing in detail the things that have made you who you are, you can ease some of the power those memories have over you. 

 

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