There’s something about Steve Sparrow’s voice (and unique name too) that just sucks you in. Do yourself a favor: right now, before you even read the rest of my review for Morning Parade’s new album, Pure Adulterated Joy – the band of which Sparrow is lead vocalist for – go find a stream of a single off this album (or even a previous album) and just listen to it. Then try to tell me I’m wrong.
Pure Adulterated Joy is full of energy through and through, even amidst the handful of seemingly downtempo tunes that pepper the album. While their sound reminds me a bit of Taking Back Sunday, Sparrow’s vocals close to that of Adam Lazzara in my ears (if I had to put any comparison with my review, the British version of Lazzara is dang close), Morning Parade and this new album are a breath of fresh air, at least when it comes to my eclectic music taste. Pure Adulterated Joy does have its moments that rock harder than the rest, like “Love Thy Neighbour” or the latter part of “Car Alarms & Sleepless Nights” for example, the songs that no doubt help put the rock in their alternative or indie rock typecast. But for me, it is the beautifully composed melodies and synth undertones, combined with a dash of amazing guitar, drums, and more that I’m a total sucker for, that sends this album to the top of my “must buy” list. And that doesn’t happen often.
Introductory song “Shake the Cage” does just that – encourages you to shake things up, be the change you seek, and not only staying true to yourself, but to rediscover yourself when necessary; a song after my own heart with a great beat to match. “Alienation,” in what I assume is a track inspired by Morning Parade’s preceding EP of the same name, became an instant favorite of mine with its remarkable synths and hints of piano, intertwined marvelously with the harmonies from Sparrow and his backing vocalist bandmates Phil Titus and Ben Giddings. *Clicks replay on this track a thousand times*
As the album progresses (yes, I was in love after those first two songs), listeners can expect unique tunes that just have this air about them that will motivate you to do something, to be something. I can barely put into words what it is exactly that this album does… I just know it’s something. Pure Adulterated Joy is one that, in my opinion, begs to be a life soundtrack. It’s got everything: vivacious, foot-tapping good tunes with enough range to appeal to all the ups and downs in life, and a sound light enough to make your life feel like the indie movie you always wanted it to be. Even after listening to this album more than the average listener, I have yet to listen to a track I don’t like.
The only possible downfall is the way the album ends. “Culture Vulture,” the final song of Pure Adulterated Joy, is an intriguing song but it just ends so abruptly. I had to check to make sure my computer wasn’t broken. This ending absolutely leaves you aching for more, and I’m sure that’s entirely the point. Which, in my case, is where I go back the beginning, click on “Shake the Cage” and listen to the whole album all over again. This sounds like a good plan until Morning Parade’s next album comes out; who’s with me?
You can purchase a CD (digitally available through iTunes on May 6th) or buy concert tickets here. For those like me who seek physical copies of CDs, the album is also available for pre-order on Amazon.
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