AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Winterpills - All My Lovely Goners Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 86%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.75
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 8
Production 9.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Average: 89%
Inside AP.net

Winterpills - All My Lovely Goners

Reviewed by: Broden Terry (02/17/12)
Winterpills - All My Lovely Goners
Record Label: Signature Sounds
Release Date: February 14th, 2012

Becoming engrossed within Winterpills' fourth studio full-length, All My Lovely Goners, is nearly inevitable. From the unfolding layers of the album opener through to the unexpected guitar driven gems that thunderously crash their way to prominence during the latter portion of the release, these thirteen tracks are as inviting as they are equally absorbing. In fact, as unlikely as it may seem, at times these songs are so beautifully arranged that you're very nearly tempted to temporarily drop your headphones or press your fingertip against the pause button. Not because you as a listener are overwhelmed, not because you need time to recuperate after album opener "We Turned Away" teases audiences with a tantalizing glimpse into the band's newfound ability to juxtaposition their trademark harmonies with an unpredictable modern rock edge, but because after these tunes take that last winding turn down overpopulated streets of introspection and eventually succumb to an inaudible finish, you feel compelled to take a brief moment to wonder why and how this western Massachusetts quintet is not already bigger than they deservedly should be. If music this enticing is drifting through your speakers, why then are they so often overlooked and underappreciated when their melodies consistently dazzle?

With the arrival of All My Lovely Goners, an album far more ambitious, adventurous, experimental, and not to mention unafraid to at times showcase a daring flair for dramatic change, Winterpills in some specific areas undoubtedly blossom to create what could arguably be considered their finest, most cohesive and accomplished work to date. That's not to say that it's all filled with positives, but when a band willingly steps outside of their comfort zone in an attempt to reach new audiences and challenge themselves as musicians, that in itself ought to be commended. One of Winterpills' finest strengths apart from their ability to effortlessly harmonize is the vastly underrated songwriting prowess of Price and his distinct ability to weave a compelling narrative. Whilst the band's previous full-length, Central Chambers, dealt primarily with the frailty of humanity and the morality of those that we choose to adore, this collection of tracks chooses to instead focus on the underlying concept that we're each defined by the heartbreaks, tragedies, obstacles and traumas that we've all endured. Even though time may eventually force those very same setbacks to recede deeper into the past and further into the back of our minds, All My Lovely Goners successfully captures a startling reminder that every single issue we've had to overcome has assisted in making us the individuals who we currently are today.

The record itself begins beautifully with the fluctuating piano chords and sweeping strings of "We Turned Away", but it isn't until the following track, "Amazing Sky" do things take their first truly memorable turn. The song unfolds wonderfully with dual acoustic guitars intertwining and driving the track forward from the outset before belatedly incorporating the gently delivered, hushed vocal tones of Price. One moment his words seemingly float above the instrumentation, and the next it appears his vocals are dancing effortlessly around it. The second verse features the key additions of cascading electric guitar tones courtesy of Dennis Crommett, rhythmic tambourines, steady drumbeats, brief horn appearances, and even an unlikely pastoral flute chiming distantly in the background. In the hands of lesser musicians, such a creative palette of instruments could potentially lead to a chaotic mess, but fortunately on this occasion a luscious soundscape ensues. However, it's when listeners finally inspect and listen closely to the lyrics does it seems almost remarkable to think that such a gorgeous musical atmosphere has been conjured whilst the lyrical theme during these four minutes has unmistakably been about laying a dear companion to rest in scenic green pastures underneath an illuminative blue sky.

After the aforementioned highlight of "Amazing Sky", it's apparent that many more are patiently awaiting for their turn to blossom, and there's none better than the absolutely stunning two-and-a-half minute slow moving ballad, "The Sun Is Alone", featuring the lovely Reed on lead vocal duties. According to the band, the track was a last minute addition to All My Lovely Goners, and consequently, Reed was forced to learn her vocal in merely forty minutes, something which she accomplished on only her second take. Simply put, it's a mournful and elegant track with layers of vocals piled on top of one another to create something truly beautiful. As harmonies swell spectacularly, Reed stretches her soaring harmonies to the very edge of their capabilities to the point where they're precariously close to cracking spectacularly under strenuous pressure. Rather than take away from the polished listening experience on the remainder of the album however, it adds yet another texture and dimension to the track. It shows that although the vocal isn't flawless, the fact that Reed's voice wanes under the incredible amount of tension it's clearly under is what makes the track so compelling and so unique.

"Rogue Highway" is yet another standout example of the band aiming to expand their sound in entirely new and previously unexplored directions. Pulsating drumbeats, rollicking power-pop guitar chords complete with faint traces of distortion, and even ever-present hand-claps can be heard throughout the duration of the track. Subsequently, it proves to be the catchiest number on offer here. During the chorus Price allows his vocals to float upward into a lovely falsetto, only for Reed to then immediately levitate airily above him as they both sing in harmonic unison, "I left them all on the rogue highway". Although Reed only lends her weightless harmonies for a few crucial seconds, it's enough to fall completely in love with the charm and power they conjure, and the effect is mesmerizing even on repeat listens.

Despite the overwhelming amount of positives that All My Lovely Goners possesses, there are invariably a few missteps along the way. "January Rain" is the most radical departure you'll hear, and whilst comparisons can and no doubt will be drawn to Elliott Smith, the track meanders along aimlessly without a semblance of direction. You'll hear reverse guitar solos that seem to just be included for novelty effect rather than any concrete purpose. The harmonies are also sub-par, and the melodies unfortunately non-existent. It would've made a pleasant, albeit moody interlude, but with a duration of five minutes all it really succeeds in doing is damaging the cohesiveness of the product as a whole. "Pretty Girls" is a beautiful little track but suffers lyrically ("Pretty girls just make me sad / pretty girls just make me cry"), and ""Minxy" is initially fantastic but begins to become weighed down with immense amounts of repetitive wordplay after repeat listens. However, the biggest complaint to surface is that there aren't more tracks that feature Reed's warm and inviting delivery on lead vocal duties. Admittedly, she's on every individual track in a predominantly backing role, but it would have been lovely to hear her gorgeous tones given added opportunity to flourish in the spotlight.

In what has been an unusually strong beginning to the year in terms of new music releases, All My Lovely Goners deserves to be recognized and mentioned as one of the finest thus far. The harmonies are often stunning, the instrumentation radiates with warmth even when the lyrics repeatedly wound and hint at something dark lurking beneath the surface, and the vocal interplay between Reed and Price is more seamless than it ever has been. This is Winterpills at their finest, this is Winterpills with a direction and a clear focus. In the eloquent words of Philip Price himself,

"To all the lovely goners - the people we've loved, the people we miss, the people who stand in our backyards and always look through our windows - this one is for you."

- Philip Price (Winterpills)

Recommended If You LikeElliott Smith, Simon & Garfunkel, Iron & Wine, Ida

Additional Information1. We Turned Away
2. Amazing Sky
3. Small Bright Doses
4. Rogue Highway
5. Pretty Girls
6. January Rain
7. The Sun Is Alone
8. Minxy
9. October
10. Dying Star
11. Fleur-de-luce
12. Sunspots (Ruins)
13. Feather Blue
AP.net Profile
Purchase
 
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11
12:04 AM on 02/18/12
#2
Broden Terry
I'm glad I built myself an igloo
Offline
User Info.
Broden Terry's Avatar
I had the pleasure of listening to this for the first time with Eda. We were exchanging messages gushing about how good this album is even during our first listening experience. It's a wonderful album. I could've easily talked about "Sunspots", "Dying Star", and "October" but it's already a super lengthy review, so I apologize to anyone and everyone who reads it.

Also, if this review helps anyone discover Winterpills, please direct your thanks to Eda because they're her band! Stream the full album on their Bandcamp, and if you like what you hear, then please purchase it and support some wonderful and equally talented musicians. They deserve it.
12:17 AM on 02/18/12
#3
jbwillisfan
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
jbwillisfan's Avatar
I just want to say i might not always agree with both your taste in music but it's hard not to get caught up in the passion you and lueda have for what you do. Big ups to jason for hiring you too. loved the review and i'll check this out on monday.

edit: actually giving the stream a listen now. real good.
12:18 PM on 02/18/12
#4
Lueda Alia
Offline
User Info.
Lueda Alia's Avatar
I just want to say i might not always agree with both your taste in music but it's hard not to get caught up in the passion you and lueda have for what you do. Big ups to jason for hiring you too. loved the review and i'll check this out on monday.

edit: actually giving the stream a listen now. real good.
Hey now... I hired Broden! He's my boy!

Glad to hear you enjoy the record. It's great. Hope more people check it out also.
12:19 PM on 02/18/12
#5
Lueda Alia
Offline
User Info.
Lueda Alia's Avatar
I had the pleasure of listening to this for the first time with Eda. We were exchanging messages gushing about how good this album is even during our first listening experience. It's a wonderful album. I could've easily talked about "Sunspots", "Dying Star", and "October" but it's already a super lengthy review, so I apologize to anyone and everyone who reads it.

Also, if this review helps anyone discover Winterpills, please direct your thanks to Eda because they're her band! Stream the full album on their Bandcamp, and if you like what you hear, then please purchase it and support some wonderful and equally talented musicians. They deserve it.
Yep, listening to the album like that was pretty amazing. We have to do it more often!

And the review is great, as expected. Wuv you.
12:33 PM on 02/18/12
#6
iam1bearcat
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I don't log in a whole lot on this site, but I do visit the site on an almost daily basis and sift through thread after thread to hear / find new music. And a few weeks ago I was looking through some thread where Lueda mentioned a few bands she felt were vastly underrated and favorites of hers and one of them was Winterpills.

And as shallow as this may sound, the name stood out to me, so I looked them up on amazon and ended up buying Central Chambers that night. I instantly fell in love with the album and then quickly downloaded their S/T and then The Light Divides and Tuxedo of Ashes - EP and then of course, All My Lovely Goners.

fantastic band. easily becoming one of my favorites.

so thank you Lueda!
01:26 PM on 02/18/12
#7
XLT917
We're never dead unless we give up.
Offline
User Info.
XLT917's Avatar
Fantastic review, as beautifully written as the record itself is. What a year it has been so far.

Also, I agree with the guy above, the passion you and Lueda have for the music you promote is what initially drew me to you, and now the love for similar music is following.
10:34 PM on 02/19/12
#8
Lizbella
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
Lizbella's Avatar
once again you prove why your my favourite writer here. i feel like i've asked this question before but i don't remember the answer. why don't you cover more talked about albums? just seems kinda dumb how you never get the replies views of a thomas nassiff, drew burgeringer or ryan gardner.

anywho my fav songs so far are minxy, the sun is alone and october. i can tell this will be my go to album on my ipod for ages.
12:39 PM on 02/22/12
#9
Lueda Alia
Offline
User Info.
Lueda Alia's Avatar
I don't log in a whole lot on this site, but I do visit the site on an almost daily basis and sift through thread after thread to hear / find new music. And a few weeks ago I was looking through some thread where Lueda mentioned a few bands she felt were vastly underrated and favorites of hers and one of them was Winterpills.

And as shallow as this may sound, the name stood out to me, so I looked them up on amazon and ended up buying Central Chambers that night. I instantly fell in love with the album and then quickly downloaded their S/T and then The Light Divides and Tuxedo of Ashes - EP and then of course, All My Lovely Goners.

fantastic band. easily becoming one of my favorites.

so thank you Lueda!

That is so awesome. Central Chambers is one of my favourite albums of all time, actually. Glad to hear that you like it so much, and I'm even happier that you love the band in general.

Hope to see you post more often!

Fantastic review, as beautifully written as the record itself is. What a year it has been so far.

Also, I agree with the guy above, the passion you and Lueda have for the music you promote is what initially drew me to you, and now the love for similar music is following.
Haha it's always nice to see you in our threads!
once again you prove why your my favourite writer here. i feel like i've asked this question before but i don't remember the answer. why don't you cover more talked about albums? just seems kinda dumb how you never get the replies views of a thomas nassiff, drew burgeringer or ryan gardner.

anywho my fav songs so far are minxy, the sun is alone and october. i can tell this will be my go to album on my ipod for ages.
Introducing people to new bands and/or being passionate about bands no matter their popularity is far more important than getting an insane amount of replies. And I'm pretty sure Broden would agree. I think people who cover popular music only to receive attention shouldn't be in the music business at all.
06:01 PM on 02/23/12
Broden Terry
I'm glad I built myself an igloo
Offline
User Info.
Broden Terry's Avatar
once again you prove why your my favourite writer here. i feel like i've asked this question before but i don't remember the answer. why don't you cover more talked about albums? just seems kinda dumb how you never get the replies views of a thomas nassiff, drew burgeringer or ryan gardner.

anywho my fav songs so far are minxy, the sun is alone and october. i can tell this will be my go to album on my ipod for ages.

Eda expressed it wonderfully, but just to reiterate, it's not about the views and replies. I tend to have more passion to write about the bands and artists that don't always receive the attention and the recognition that the bigger bands on AP.net undoubtedly do. It would be absolutely fantastic if Winterpills got the appreciation of The Wonder Years for example, but we need to be realistic, it's not going to eventuate on a website that was built upon the foundations of pop/punk music.

If any writer or reviewer contributed to any form of website or publication with the sole focus of achieving views and becoming a popular writer, it's the incorrect attitude to possess. I think it would be highly self-indulgent if that was someone's motivation, you know? I was hired by Eda to promote these indie artists, and that's where the passion comes from, that's why I write lengthy reviews because I want to showcase them to the website, I want to incorporate some detail into these reviews so that the audience are left without any semblance of doubt that these little bands are so wonderful and talented just through reading some words.

In 2010 Eda single-handedly gave Angus and Julia Stone a platform in which to absolutely soar onwards and upwards from. They weren't known whatsoever in America or anywhere for that matter outside of being Australia's underground "indie darlings". Through an enormous amount of time, effort, work and sheer perseverance, Eda promoted them tirelessly and without exaggeration, I believe that everything she did contributed to Angus and Julia Stone becoming massive. That example is what drives me, it spurs me on knowing that it's possible to accomplish that for the majority of bands that we work with and alongside. I want that. I want that sense of fulfillment in knowing we've made a difference to these small bands and they can start earning a living from creating music.

I may not be some famous music journalist, but as cliche as it is, it's about the music. I'd gain more satisfaction from knowing my one thousand views and five comment review ensured another dozen people became fans of said band rather than my forty thousand views and 300+ comments achieving polarizing opinions on an upcoming Paramore/All Time Low record.

I'm developing my own little audience; I see familiar members comment on my reviews and I'm so appreciative. If it continues to expand, that's amazing. If not, I'm fine with that too.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm