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Watashi Wa - Love of Life Album Cover

Watashi Wa - Love of Life

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Watashi Wa - Love of Life
Release Date: June 24, 2003
Record Label: Tooth & Nail
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
It has been said that the value of music is in the way it makes us feel. It energizes our brains and gets us thinking, sometimes with great emotional significance. For me, as a nature of my personality, I tend to get bored and tired of older music, always moving on to the next take or something new entirely. I'm sure it's that way for many of you who come to AP.net, since not sticking with the first thing you heard out of the radio already demands a greater satisfaction. In lieu of that, today I'm choosing to highlight a record that transcends this notion of musical progress many of us, including myself, abide by. While at times simple, it is never mundane or basic. Its emotional qualities shine through every note, touching many of the deepest parts of the soul. It is in this way that music creates its most lasting impact, even ten years later, and making itself a continual part of my own life for several years now. Others, while technically grand and masterful works of art that deserve recognition and a fair place on those favorites lists we have painstakingly constructed, do not have the same sort of value that Watashi Wa's Love of Life has. Let me tell you why.

To put it simply, this record is quite literally a perfect expression of pure joy. However, Love of Life doesn't draw its joy from the mundane frivolities, juvenile exploits, and overall immaturity that typical pop-rock and pop-punk have extolled for the past decade. It surges with peace and serenity that almost becomes tangible in its brilliance. The most important thing which sets this album apart, and the most obvious, is Seth Roberts' timeless, gentle, and poignant words; endowing the album the structure for its unusually strong vitality even after so many years. Each song deals with its own little piece of the things that create true happiness in life, whether it be love, God, friendship, or life itself. Seth's vocals themselves are inherently cheerful, tall, and powerful, with a natural upward-scaling progression that, while not terribly creative, suits the instrumentation very well.

While the music is crafted in a similar style to the previously mentioned genres, it clearly isn't of the same cloth; even in its instrumental structure. Every note was written in the same spirit that the lyrics put forward, consistently upbeat, sometimes peppy and downright giddy, and harmonizing beautifully. Harmony itself is ever-present, even at unexpected junctions. The guitars are perpetually bouncy, helping to aid the percussion in the creation of a layered rhythm ("The Air I Breathe"). At the same time, they soar gently along with Seth's lower-pitched but uncharacteristically higher-reaching vocals, producing a wall of sound not unlike more ambient genres like early shoegaze ("Her Dress"). Old fashioned feel-good pop-rock hooks are thus combined with atmospheric riffs and production to create an organic, endlessly flowing foundation for the lyrics' emotional appeal to take effect, perfectly exemplified by "Everything".

Love of Life shows to even the most snobbish that pop-rock can be a winning formula throughout the years. It utterly flees from the typical negative and reactionary social norms coming from most music these days. Quite honestly, it's musical therapy. This album has helped me get through some of the worst points of my life. It's a pocketful of sunshine on even the darkest of days, pouring out serenity and sincere happiness wherever it is audible. Although this album was written ten years ago, its message lives on and speaks to those who suffer and struggle. While times are tumultuous, friends come and go, the cherished are loved and lost, and tragedy lurks around the corner, Love of Life stands strong as a powerful statement of hope, peace, and everlasting love.

10/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
10:45 AM on 08/09/13
#2
WeltallAY
Je suis l'Alpha et l'Oméga
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Not here's a name I haven't heard in eons. I almost bought this CD many times in the past but never did.

On an unrelated note, Sean what did you think of the new Built On Secrets LP? Honestly, I found it a big step down. It seemed to drop the great instrumentation and soaring melodic vocals for a more ordinary, almost pop punk song structure. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice tracks and some I love but I was very disappointed.
10:59 AM on 08/09/13
#3
Sean Rizzo
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Not here's a name I haven't heard in eons. I almost bought this CD many times in the past but never did.

On an unrelated note, Sean what did you think of the new Built On Secrets LP? Honestly, I found it a big step down. It seemed to drop the great instrumentation and soaring melodic vocals for a more ordinary, almost pop punk song structure. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice tracks and some I love but I was very disappointed.
Agreed entirely. I didn't wind up reviewing it because I didn't want to give it a bad score. Funnily enough Hands Like Houses and Dead Letter Circus are leagues better than the new BoS album.
11:08 AM on 08/09/13
#4
atticusfinch
Faith In More Than Steel
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One of my favorite records from that time period. Was just spinning this last week.
11:08 AM on 08/09/13
#5
WeltallAY
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Agreed entirely. I didn't wind up reviewing it because I didn't want to give it a bad score. Funnily enough Hands Like Houses and Dead Letter Circus are leagues better than the new BoS album.
I agree. I was initially letdown by HLH but although I prefer GD I have grown to really love Unimagined. New DLC is en route from Australia !
11:39 AM on 08/09/13
#6
piaffeprncess98
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I remember seeing these guys in the upstairs of a tiny rec center with Spitalfield. This is a great album. I think I need to break it out again, it's been awhile!
11:55 AM on 08/09/13
#7
mattjritter
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Great record.
01:02 PM on 08/09/13
#8
phatty5693
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Love the D&C reference. Such a great album.
01:24 PM on 08/09/13
#9
leftapart
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10's all around? Tooth and nail? Copeland RIYL? Why haven't I heard of this 10 year old record yet? Thanks for bringing it to my attention; I'll listen later tonight.
06:25 PM on 08/09/13
Quijiba
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did this band turn into Lakes?
10:04 AM on 08/10/13
Reece Wagner
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The guy from Watashi Wa is the guy from Lakes, yah. I didn't enjoy this album as much as everyone else did apparently, I heard it about 8 years after the fact too and it sounded pretty samesy to me. Then again that's exactly how I'd describe Copeland, so maybe it fits.
12:47 PM on 08/14/13
brothemighty
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Holy hell, flashbacks. So many flashbacks.

"Clear."

Sigh
05:34 AM on 08/15/13
XenoAbe
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10's all around? Tooth and nail? Copeland RIYL? Why haven't I heard of this 10 year old record yet? Thanks for bringing it to my attention; I'll listen later tonight.
I had the same thoughts. This was just as I was getting big into Copeland and T&N too. I feel like I cheated myself.
08:56 AM on 08/16/13
SimplyMyself
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I love the RIYL
09:17 AM on 08/16/13
kmilongo
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RIYL Copeland? Mae??? Holy crap, I gotta listen to this!

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