Matt Tuck - Lead vocals & guitars Michael "Padge" Paget - Lead guitars & backing vocals
Jamie Mathias - Bass & backing vocals Jason Bowld - Drums & percussion
At first listen, I found that BFMV had taken a complete turn on their unique sound - giving it up for a more nu, electronica-infused one. With this stylistic shift, according to an interview with Tuck by Loud TV, the band was going for a younger and less technical sound. With guitar solos eradicated from the album and most songs created based on go-to riffs, I did not find their new sound one that I enjoyed. The simple verse/chorus/verse/bridge/chorus structure of the songs left no room for surprise or novelty, and the lyrics felt empty and lacking in emotion – despite Tuck’s assertion that they came from a place of difficulty (a reflection on the past few years of his life).
To understand BFMV’s decision for such a musical makeover, I delved deeper into the album. The first track, “Leap Of Faith”, presented an overview of what all the other tracks on the album would sound like: an electronic introduction fused with a building guitar riff and soft vocals, followed by an intense (but simple) chorus – and repeat till the end of the track. Next was the first released single, “Over It”, followed by the second released single, “Letting You Go”. Both songs followed the same equations as the previous songs (with rather simpler lyrics) and even more pop/electronica influenced edge. On “Letting You Go”, Tuck chimes in with the lyrics, “First you wanna hate me, then you wanna love me, this is how I’m feeling, now I’m letting you go.” – the cliché-ness and almost jarring simplicity of the lyrics left no room for emotion and came across as a marketing strategy for the band to accumulate a following from the pop mainstream.
The sacrifice of loyal fans for a direction change has never held any respect in my eye, unless the direction change were driven from the heart and were executed properly. The next few tracks from "Not Dead Yet" to "Coma" follow the same theme. “Don’t Need You” – a track written a couple of years prior to the release of Gravity, was the only song that rung true to BFMV’s sound, and remains to be my favourite off the album. Finally, the album closes with “Breath Underwater”, a ballad-like song that took place as my second favourite off the album.
While I want to say that I enjoyed listening to Gravity, I could not help but be constantly distracted by the overbearing electronics and the several layers of effects that went into recording Tuck’s vocals. It felt as though the metal component of the music was drowning in the electronic, and that I had to dive into the stormy waters to hear and enjoy it. I understand that playing a certain genre (pop) is required for mainstream success in the modern day, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be in the spotlight – but will losing a fan-base built over years of hard work be worth it?
Final Rating: 5/10
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