And trying to make it work between us
I sense you're slowly moving away
Not taking me with you
If all the years amount to nothing
With a future so unclear
Is this what it was all for?"
One Word Review: Emotional
"She" was released at the end of 2006 and was one of my favorites of that year. The album resonates strongly with me for several reasons, partly because of the way it relates lyrical themes of moving on, letting go, and possibly getting out on the other side, but also because, close to a year after its release, I met my soon to be wife and Ray's music has followed us since, in many ways. This makes the album feel like a rite of passage to me.
Ray Wilson clearly had some heavier songs up his sleeve after completing his second solo album, The Next Best Thing, and subsequently decided to revive the Stiltskin name. Ray is the only remaining member of the original band, which had a major hit in 1994 with the song Inside.
"She" is a dark and heavy album. Music and lyrics complement each other in this respect. Several songs are embraced by a melancholy-drenched atmosphere in a breathtaking way. Ray Wilson's deep, emotional voice brings some of the songs an almost infinite amount of sadness. If you're in the right (ie. wrong) state of mind you should enter with caution. The album is emotionally strong and moving on several levels.
Fly High is a heavy and unyielding opening statement. Taking Time is the first song to really exhibit the atmosphere, I just described. The song has an unstoppable rhythm, that bores into the soul and roams around for a short while. It is impossible to sit still, as this fantastic song is playing, the groove will get hold of you. The ending quote from the Book of Revelation only adds to the brooding atmosphere.
My clear favorite of the album is Constantly Reminded, where the inability to let go, is described in a way that breeds sympathy for its writer and those souls caught in the same state of mind. I know, because I was there at one point, and for a short period of time I could not bear to listen to this song as it touched upon feelings that were too painful. Fortunately I got through this period unscathed and wiser, and looking back, I see how the song helped me put things into perspective. The album does hit its most desperate note here, yet the song is highly melodic and impossible to not sing along to. Ray sings in a deep, emotion-filled voice, which is unforgettable, as is the song.
Show me the way gracefully moves on with positive feelings and a new hopeful outlook. Acoustic and electric guitar is mixed with piano and Ray's voice into a splendid warm sound.
The album is nicely balanced and nearly every single Cut is a standout. Fame in particular has a brilliant heavy chorus, the title track has a cool groove, while the first single Lemon Yellow Sun is very melodic and easy on the ear. Summer Days' supreme atmosphere and melodic nature also deserves a heavy nod, as does Wake Up Your Mind, where a superb, soothing chorus answers the desperation shining through in the verse sections.
If you want a great dose of rock, which is also cathartic in its nature, then you can't go wrong with this album. It is of very high quality all the way through.
Written By Steen
Online: Tuesday, March 3, 2015