From the first sustained note that opens the album, you are pulled into this world of Bob Evans. The cinematic opening of “Footscray Park” like the first moments of a film, introduces the tone and thematic elements. As the harmonic vocals come in you can almost see the scene being built in front of you. This happens both musically and lyrically. The music is layers upon layers, crafting itself into a storytelling device. Lyrically, there are themes of building your life. Growing up, making plans for your future that never quite pan out the way you want, and the realization that sometimes that’s how life goes. But it is a hopeful message, because either way, you have built something regardless of what you wanted in the first place.
Yet at no point do you feel this is some kind of haughty concept album. Each song has its own story to tell. But the approach to the songs is very unified. There is this open feeling to the songs, lyrically open and honest, and musically wide. You are swimming in guitars, synths, and drums, and laid out in the middle are the soft, laid-back, harmonic vocals, pushing through the stories and philosophical thinking. The musicality of everything prepares you to hear the messages coming through, and is really a perfect way to deliver those messages.
It feels for the first time on a Bob Evans record, that this really means something to the artist, and he is telling stories that are both specific to him, but understood to be universal. The result is a beautiful, well-crafted album that everyone can get something from. Whether you are a lyrics person who thrives on thoughtful lyrics, or a music person looking for great melodies, harmonies, and intricate production styles, this has it all. This is a triumphant return and the creation of a lasting statement to be proud of.