It feels like a lifetime ago now but last month I had the pleasure of attending the launch show for this album and what a great night out it was Birmingham it was too. Cold; but great. So after braving the aforementioned Arctic conditions I think it’s only right that I give the actual record a full and proper rundown.
Opening track Point Of You is more aggressive and more direct than pretty much everything else on the album. It’s packed full of bucket loads of rock n’ roll attitude which manifests itself in a crashing, riff-laden chorus. Opening tracks are so often all about making a statement and Point Of View certainly does that.
Stand Up You’re Living was the first single to be taken from the album when it was released last April and it sounds as good now as it did then. I think it sums up Detroit, her music and indeed her philosophy on life really well. It’s melodic, slightly rocky and unerringly positive. The main melody and elements of the vocal pattern are similar to Green Day’s Know Your Enemy, and it’s just a good tune all round.
Completely (You Fuck Me Up) starts out in far more subdued fashion but there are still enough rockier and grungier moments to give it that edge which the title hints at. The song manages to be mostly smooth and easy on the ear while leaving enough room for a certain spikiness to grab hold in the second half. This contrast is a real feature of the album as a whole.
Things really strip back for one of my favourite tracks on the record, and that track is called Save Your Last Goodbye. The song is basically Detroit, an acoustic guitar and some backing vocals. That is literally it. While obviously it’s the lead vocal which carries the track those smooth as silk backing vocals that I mentioned are a small but brilliant addition. They really help the song’s flow as well as helping to ‘fill out’ its overall sound beautifully.
Following track Don’t Bring This Down picks up the pace a few notches and carries a real spring in its step. The melody here is much more of a driving force and the song carries a really summery feel, it’s simply a really solid track. Emily is Detroit’s answer Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon and it’s another one of the undoubted highlights. It starts out stripped back for the first verse before the drums kick in and it’s ‘rockiness’ begins to grow. It gradually builds towards a grandstand finale and really pulls the listener in from the opening note ensuring that you remain invested for the duration.
As we cross over the halfway point Detroit once again strips back the instrumentation for the optimistic and almost soothing Hold On. It’s a great showcase of the Birmingham native’s vocal ability as she takes control of the song straight from the off placing all of the emphasis on the lyrics. The vocal and those lyrics only have an acoustic guitar and a piano for company and that just rounds out what is a truly beautiful song.
As the album then tends to do its bounce then returns in the form of Wait For The Feeling. It’s got a nice strong chorus and it’s one of those tracks where the melody and a skipping drum beat really push it along. I’m a fan of the guitar solo towards the end and all in all it’s another really solid track.
Up to now the album has been pretty much flawless but I do have a couple of small issues. The following track Somehow is short and sweet clocking in at just over a minute, and while I like the floaty vocal I don’t feel like the track itself really adds anything. I’m not saying that its inclusion is inherently a bad thing I just don’t feel like it does enough to justify being there.
My other slight negative is that I would have swapped the last two tracks around. Both are good songs, with Adelaide acting as a microcosm for the whole record. It treads the line between rock and something more acoustic and gentle brilliantly well and is another terrifically put together song. Roses is much slower and much more stripped back and in isolation that would be fine but after the bigger sounding previous track it means it makes the album feel like it ends on a flat note which doesn’t do the song justice.
I think that if Roses follows the stripped back Somehow, the album can then go out with more of a grandstand finish with Adelaide. As I said there’s nothing wrong with either of the songs I just think they could have had more impact if they had been switched around. I know it probably sounds like I’m nit-picking and I’m aware that I may be the only person in the world that thinks that but I still think it’s a valid point.
With that being said it is pretty impossible not to be impressed by this album. I feel like the production captures Detroit’s sound really well and the changes in pace and style give the listener plenty to hold their interest. The couple of issues that I mentioned are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things and in no way overshadow the numerous positives on show, chiefly that the album is full of very good songs.
Live To Love You’ll Love To Live is such an easy record to fall in love with, you can’t help but be seduced by it. There’s a bit of something for everyone and it showcases Detroit’s ability as a songwriter and a singer in fine style. All things considered this is a very impressive debut.