All too often, lyricists are the members of the songwriting enterprise that get all the credit for infusing a song with emotion — articulating so exactly what countless others are feeling. While this might be the most direct way to evoke an emotional connection with your audience, it certainly is not the only way, as Los Angeles’s MagicHour proves with his LP, Remember Harder.
The truly indescribable 15-song offering is, as a whole, scant on the words, but what it lacks in lyrical complexity it more than makes up for in its vast selection of sounds. Anything goes, from the typical electro synth beats to crashing wind chimes, from the gaggles of voices in a crowded room to one individual’s exasperated sighs. This album manages to encapsulate all sorts of feelings and moods just by the way it combines and layers noise. It is a truly magical effect — a collection of songs that allows you to let go and lose yourself, to feel things on your own terms instead of through someone else’s words. And while you might get lost in the music, you never lose the beat to the background — the songs are interesting enough to keep you engaged, despite the album’s length.
It is a further testament to MagicHour’s prowess that all this noise does not come together as a complete and utter mess. One song seamlessly transitions into another, yet each is distinct enough to have its own personality. Even more impressive, sounds are arranged according to the titles that have been attributed to them. For instance, “The Lives We Invent” is an upbeat, funk-infused track, while “You’ve Forgotten” stutters and repeats itself incessantly and “Clouds” relies on an airy, light and somewhat fluffy chord progression. It is clear that the musical decisions have been carefully considered and calculated, as much as a lyric can be worked and reworked until it conveys just the right sentiment.
To be sure, this music is not for everyone. Some people require the human connection with the emotive vocalist, the succinctness of a carefully crafted lyric, to feel like a song really speaks to their needs. Then there are people like me — who thought all of that was necessary until this album came along.
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