Written by Natalie Fisher
After a hugely successful debut album 5am in 2015, which featured strong vocals and beautiful instrumentals, hopes were high for the release of Amber Run’s latest album For a Moment I Was Lost.
However, as soon as the album begins with Insomniac, an upbeat track that contrasts entirely with the intro of 5am, one is introduced to a very different Amber Run sound. The opening is strong and powerful, bringing the listener straight into the new album but despite the strong start, the track doesn’t scream with the distinction of Amber Runs previous work and blends into something more within the realms of pop.
The problem for me is the lack of vocal distinction that so powerfully drove the first album. No Answers the second track has a nice build up, but the focus is more on the backing track, with the somewhat repetitive lyrics not providing much interest. Indeed, there is a section of the song where the vocalist almost screams the words and this creates a very heavy atmosphere that I personally disliked and which makes the track seem disconnected.
Whilst the disconnection of lyrics and instrumental is a problem, there are still some really successful tracks on this album, mainly ones I feel make use of Amber Runs signature haunting vocals and calming melodies. The fourth track Stranger for example is effective in terms of the vocal and guitar arrangements. The track is slower and much more focused on a specific message, creating a thoughtful and instrumentally strong piece of music, especially through the guitar which is a stand out.
Dark Bloom is also a stand out in terms of haunting vocals combined with acoustic guitar. This track provides the emotion that is lost elsewhere in the album and is beautifully melancholic through the dark vocals ‘you can love a little darker’. Machine is also driven by strong vocals and is one of the simpler, yet more successful songs on the album. It has a peaceful backing track that doesn’t overpower the vocals, bringing back the Amber Run style I personally favour.
In general, Amber Run’s latest album can be recognised as an experiment in terms of the bands style, yet in an attempt to create upbeat tracks with powerful messages, the band have lost the distinction of their vocals that were so evident in their previous album.
Check out the video for Stranger here: