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ALBUM REVIEW: The Shondes ‘The Garden’

The ShondesRecently, a few retro-ish artists have been popping up left and right. Some are hits…and some are misses. The Shondes give off the energy of a classic rock band like The Clash, fronted by powerful female vocals.

Without hesitance or careful introduction, The Shondes launch into the cinematic, spectacular “The Garden.” Charmingly, almost alarmingly, poetic, the track starts the album off on a complete high.

“Nothing More Whole Than a Broken Heart” is a refreshingly played out break-up song. It sounds like it could have been featured in a movie from the late ’80s, and acts as a brilliant come-back for people who are badgered to be in relationships. “There’s nothing wrong with us! Don’t you know there’s nothing more whole than a broken heart?” Similar in style, “On Your Side” is all about support, and being there for a friend or a lover. It’s the song that you can easily imagine singing full belt with your best friend and you drive through a quiet street (complete with hand gestures).

“Night Like This” is pure poetry, and is a noteworthy addition on The Garden. It’s so well-written, and stunningly delivered, really showcasing each member’s abilities. Something about the beat, the piano, the harmonies, and even the way each line is sung, makes this song memorable. It makes it stand out.

“Running Out of Time” is catchy, fun, and energetic. It’s that point when you’re trying to get to know someone, but you’re already kind of taken with them. Perfectly capturing the madness of love, The Shondes put everything they have into the track, and the effort shows! “Light Me Up” continues to showcase that same feeling, but with a more provocative, pleading feel.

“Dr. Manhattan” was a pleasant surprise on the album, especially once you factor in the finger-snapping involved. It’s light-hearted, fun, and would translate well live. With an instrumental that will have listeners jumping, screaming, and bobbing their heads, this will easily be a fan-favorite.

“Sing For You” starts off seeming to be a self-reflection. It’s a declaration of independence. “I won’t sing for you anymore!” This is the end of the road, the foot firmly planting itself to the ground, and chin sticking up in the air in defiance. It’s the anthem of The Badass.

Unlike its predecessor, “Follow The Storm” begins with a slow, sweet, startlingly soft melody and verse. As the edge comes in, with clever lyrics, and a philosophical tone, the song distances itself from the other tracks; coming from a seemingly more vulnerable place.

With foot-tapping energy and metaphorical lines, “Running In My Sleep,” seems almost jaded, but the hand-clapping keeps the momentum. Live, the crowd could easily get involved; from clapping to singing along with the “Ba-ba-ba-da-da-dum.” In many ways, this is the perfect addition to a workout playlist.

“The Promise” has an infectious spirit and liveliness to it, with the elements of a love song. It’s melodic and a perfect end to a great new album.

Growing up on all types of music, the sound of the late-’80s and early ’90s is easily distinguished, and The Shondes would have fit in perfectly alongside their classic counterparts. If Save Ferris come back on the scene, please let them tour with The Shondes!

You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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