New Music Tuesday: Wild Blessed Freedom

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wild Blessed Freedom, Carolina Liar

So, it took me a week and at least a dozen listens to get to this review, so it may surprise you to hear that after all that I still don't know what I think about this album. Wild Blessed Freedom (is it just me, or does it sound like that title needs a comma somewhere in it?) is the sophomore album from a band called Carolina Liar, one of my "college bands" that I was exposed to at the University. I REALLY liked their self-titled debut, personally: their mellow synth-rock was an ideal zone out and work album. Wild Blessed Freedom isn't that. It's not bad, really, it's just different.

But what am I saying? Different is good. Different means that they're growing as a band, and not just re-purposing the same tunes over and over. In music you gotta give credit to different. The Killers Sam's Town is good because it wasn't just Hot Fuss, Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American was good because it was considerably more upbeat than Clarity, and so on. I think the catch for me is that Carolina Liar's first album was synth rock; a good mix of keyboards and guitars that just worked. Wild Blessed Freedom, though? It's taken a big step in the "synth" direction and away from the "rock". Don't get me wrong, the album has some great, catchy songs, but it also is sporting a lot of synthy dance music, sometimes completely devoid of rock influence altogether.

I guess, if I have to make a verdict on the album, I'm giving it a solid C+, or even a B-. It's has some great individual songs and infectiously catchy synth pop songs, but the album just feels... lacking. I wouldn't say Carolina Liar has hit a sophomore slump, I think it's more that they're just growing more as a band. Wild Blessed Freedom has a lot to offer, it's just not sure exactly what it wants to be yet, so it tosses out an eclectic mix of songs. I'd still say it's definitely worth a listen, but I'll be waiting to see what Carolina Liar grows into from here.

Here are some videos to digest:

You and Me (just the song):


Drown (music video)

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