A.N. If you’ve popped to this post to get the link to my new blog post on my other blog or you’re hear for this post but you want to check that one out too, then the link is… http://myvoicebrandnew.blogspot.com/2018/08/lets-talk-mental-health-update.html
Rituals has been out for a few weeks now, I’ve had time to accept it for what it is and I have thoughts about it. If you are unaware, Deaf Havana is one of my favourite bands, and with their latest album, they have kinda stepped away from their sound. I’m not annoyed at the sound, I kind of like it, but it was just different from what I was used to. Either way, it’s gave Deaf Havana more recognition.
I have songs I love on this album and songs I’m left feeling underwhelmed with, but that’s because I am so used to the sound of the likes of Fools and Worthless Liars and All These Countless Nights, or even Old Souls. I’m used to that sound, not the newer sound, although there’s a couple of hidden gems on the album. I do like the album. There are two tracks I skip more often than not because they’re just not for me. But I can see why some people would love them.
Yes, okay maybe they’re more of a pop rock band now rather than the alt-rock band that they were, but I mean I’ve had 3 weeks to come to terms with that. So, I mean I’m okay with it. And I will still support them because I do love Deaf Havana and they are a band that have comforted me on my down days. And I will forever love James, Matt, Lee, Tom and Max. And they are really good live, and when their Reading set was streamed, they didn’t forget about their other songs, because I mean I started crying because I heard the intro to Happiness, like nope, sorry, I’ll be found sobbing on the floor. So I am happy with them for that one, because I would have hated if they would have forgotten about their other albums, because although that isn’t 100% their new sound, them songs are the ones that us older fans were introduced with.
But anyway, of course like every other album I did buy it, I pre-ordered the deluxe edition with the lyric card things, so when I talk about my opinions on the tracks, I will mention Cr33pin and Narcissus.
Let’s start with Wake since that’s the first track on the album and we’ll work our way through it.
Wake is one of the two songs that I skip, although it is only 40 seconds long. It’s just meh. I get that it’s just the introduction to the album, but it’s very similar to something else I’ve heard and I couldn’t tell you what it is. I just think it’s a bit meh. There’s not much to say because it is only an introduction and it’s not a lyrical song as such, so… eh.
Sinner… Sinner is the first song that DH released off the album (technically but wait for track 12 to see what I mean by that…) the song isn’t a bad song. It’s not their normal sound, but it’s not a bad song. I like it a lot, and lyrically… JAMES PLEASE HIT ME WITH A BUS BECAUSE SAME. The lyrics are still very DH, no doubt about that, the sound just makes the song sound 10x happier than it is… because really, it’s a song I want to scream because yes, I am a sinner that won’t be saved, and feel free to fall to your knees about that. The line that sticks with me from Sinner is “I think I shut you out as a form of protection” because honestly, same. I really cannot fault this song, and honestly, I’m not annoyed at the sound. I’m okay with it. Like it’s still DH and it’s still James’ voice so I can’t complain. I do also like the use of London Contemporary Voices on this track, and across the whole album. It gives it a nice touch, especially considering Deaf Havana are known as a rock band.
Ritual… I love Ritual. I get why some people don’t like it, but I love it. Like please, it’s a sound that they haven’t done before, but like Sinner, I’m here for it. It’s more than one line, but the bit from Ritual that sits with me is “You keep pulling me in when you know I’m hazy and low when my head is fucked, like a drunk I fall hard at your feet. It’s hard to believe I believed every word that you wrote” and another line that also sits with me is “I’m always broke, and almost broken” there is a lot of lyrics in the song I like. I think lyrically it’s a really good song, and I do think that the sound of the song does sit well with it, JUDGE ME.
Hell… Hell is one of them songs, that if you’re more of a fan of the previous albums you probably let out a sigh of relief about. Because it does have a sound that is more like their older stuff. The album does have tracks for people that liked and didn’t like the previous sound. They’re still Deaf Havana and if you listen to the lyrics then you’ll know that. Hell is a tune. And in all honesty, the title fits with the vibe of the track. It’s not a song about hell as such, but it’s got a title that sounds dark, and the sound is darker to the likes of Ritual, Heaven, Sinner etc. Hell does hit somewhere within me, and it does make me cry a little if I think about the lyrics, because I can find meaning in the lyrics. My favourite lyrics from hell are “but then you called me up, said that we don’t talk and when we do I’m just crossing the line.” I like the entire song lyrically but that and “Just as I woke up, I pushed your face to the back of my mind” they hit somewhere within me.
Holy… where do I start with Holy? Since it was released it has been one of my favourite tracks off the album. I absolutely love it. Again, it doesn’t sound like their old sound, but IT’S A GOOD SOUND. And the lyrics, please, just hit me with them, please. It’s one of them songs that I want to hear live and I want to scream it. I want to full-on scream it from the top of my lungs. I want to yell the words to it. I want to be there ready to lose it when it comes to the chorus. Like I am emotionally prepared to scream “I WAS A LIAR I’LL NEVER BE HOLY IN YOUR EYES BUT YOU’LL NEVER BE EITHER” like yes James, please hit me again… My favourite lyrics are “Despite all my flaws I still hope you’re okay. I don’t know if I can honestly say, that it’s getting better, but at least together we were holy” like yes, James’ vocals when he sings that as well, like okay I’ll just cry myself into a hole.
Saviour… this song… I just, I can’t even explain it. This sound, like can they release an entire album with this sound? Like please, I would throw my money at that. But when don’t I throw money at bands that ruined my life yet made my life better? I don’t know if it’s my favourite song off the record, but if it isn’t then it’s certainly in my top 3 BECAUSE CAN WE APPRECIATE IT FOR THE ENTIRE 3 MINUTES THAT IT IS. Like just listen to that first verse and tell me you didn’t just get hit somewhere deep inside. I don’t even know if I have a favourite line because I love the entire song, the entire sound. Like I can’t even explain the sound like it’s pop, but it’s rock but it’s not pop rock, but it’s also got a little hint of something extra and I just want to hear it live and be found on a floor sobbing because man, this song. Honestly, it hits somewhere deep inside me. Although I will point out that I do really love “Every time you proved me wrong, I ended up drunk and afraid of what I’d become” because honestly, I can relate to that, and it does hit somewhere deep inside. It hits somewhere I wish didn’t exist. I think it’s the vocals in this song that do it for me, like honestly I know I keep mentioning James because it’s his voice you’re hearing, but I do have to say that Matt (why do I always mention Matt first after James? But I mean brothers so you can’t not right?), Max, Tom and Lee have all done amazing work with this sound, and even if one of them wasn’t there, the sound would not work as well as it does. I have to appreciate all 5 of them because this album was a massive change, and it’s been pulled off well. Well done.
Anyway… back to the next track.
Fear… Fear I didn’t like when I listened to it for the first few times, then I looked at the song from a different perspective, and I tried to take some meaning from the song, and it’s not a bad song. Again, it’s not the sound I’m used to, which will, of course, make my opinion on it different to what it would be if this was the sound I’d always known. It’s not a bad song, I do prefer the lyrics over the sound, again, judge me. I love DH, and the song is just different. It sounds like something my sister would listen to rather than me, but I don’t hate it. I don’t hate any song (I nearly hate one song but I don’t). Fear does get better the further into the song you get, but IT’S JUST VERY POP OKAY? Lyrically, I mean you can still tell these lyrics came from James because if you put these lyrics on a sound like Little White Lies or Trigger, you know then you wouldn’t think the song was anything unlike them. That’s the way it is with most of the album, if the lyrics were on the old sound then nobody would have noticed anything, but because they have gone more pop, everybody has noticed a change in sound, but it’s still Deaf Havana. Favourite lyrics again I can relate to, and they are “…it’s clear that I’m really not well. I tried to run and wait it out, but I’ve become a mess of doubts”.
Pure… Again, Pure gives me mixed feelings. It’s one of the more older style songs off the album, but it does give me mixed feelings. I both love and hate it. I love the lyrics because it does remind me of someone and I think maybe that’s why I hate it. Because it reminds me of someone that I don’t want to be reminded of every time I listen to Deaf Havana. It is a good sound though, but when it gets to the chorus I just lose it, because contrast. Like the lyrics do have a lot of meaning to me, like it’s a song that I can get a lot of meaning with a situation from, and it’s a good song. It’s really not bad, but I mean I’M REALLY NOT WELL. I do love songs like this from DH though because it’s powerful, it is a powerful hard hitting song. And I’m sorry if you don’t agree, but it is a good, powerful, hard-hitting song. I cannot hate this song. I hate the fact that it has meaning to me, but it’s an amazing sound. Honestly, it’s a great sound. And I do love Deaf Havana when they release sons like these. My favourite lyrics from Pure are “So medicated, I’m wasted. You’re trying hard just to hate me, and I know you’re burned out and praying things don’t change.”
Evil… Evil is just a no from me. It’s on a par with Heaven and you’ll find out my opinions on that next. The lyrics are good, but it’s the sound. It’s the fact it’s slow, but the entire sound. I don’t know, I don’t want to be like oh my gosh it’s DH I love it, because I really don’t. It does get better. But only slightly, it’s not the best song on the album, BUT THAT’S MY OPINION. You may worship this song (if you know the track listing then you get that pun I made). It’s mediocre. I really don’t feel this song, had the song have been faster, more upbeat then maybe I would have loved it, but I just can’t get behind it. Maybe in more time, I will, but currently, I can’t. My favourite lyrics would be “I left you on a train and pretended that you never existed…”
Heaven… I don’t even want to give my opinion on Heaven, but so I’m being 100% honest about my opinon I will… I don’t like it one bit. This is the one track that I pretty much hate, I prefer Evil to this, which says a lot. Yes, it’s faster and more upbeat but it’s just not for me. I don’t like the sound, I don’t like fact that it’s very pop. Lyrically it’s not bad, but that’s the one thing that kind of makes me not hate it. I just don’t really like it, and I’m sorry. But I mean it does kind of sound almost like a The 1975 song, but I don’t know. There’s just something about it that makes me not like it. I’m sorry. I just… it’s not a song for me. I’ll not burn the song out of my brain, but it’s not really a song for me. There’s also a line in it that both me and my friend kind of cringed at… “Moving on from all these countless nights…” yeah mate, you’re telling me… complete opposite to ATCN. I will still sing along to it, but it’s just not for me. I’m sorry. Lyrics wise, as I said I do like it and my favourite line is probably “and all the alcohol doesn’t help my soul to heal”. And that’s all I can say about heaven because it’s just not for me.
Worship… you see now the album just goes back to being decent. Worship is an absolute tune. Like, yes please. I love the lyrics, I love the sound. Please, this song is decent. This song… just man, I love it. The sound is so good, and the lyrics just make me want to scream, and if given the chance to sing it, I do scream the chorus because how can you not? Like the chorus is so catchy, it does make me think of someone again, but in a more positive way this time. And I just love the entire vibe of the song, like can I marry this song? It’s a good song, and honestly, I do not have one bad word to say about this song. How can you not love it? It’s got energy, it’s catchy, it’s lyrically amazing, and it’s got a bit of a ‘fuck you’ vibe about it, and I mean I’m 100% here for that. Like, thank you guys, love you. I don’t know if I can pick a favourite set of lyrics, I mean of course I can, but the entire song is that good. This song is honestly just a mood. Like this song is my mood 90% of the time currently, and it could be my favourite song off the album.
So favourite lyrics would be “I’m getting high but I’m so low all the time now” like just, that’s a hell of a line.
I worship, Worship.
Saint… now, when I got part way through my first listen of this song, I was messaging my mate and giving him my reactions to the album as I progressed through it, and it hit me, that Saint is actually a previous like old, never released song called Brother. And I lost it when I realised that like I was wondering why I knew the lyrics, and if anybody knows me, then you know that I love Brother, it’s such a nice song. So even though there’s a bit of distorted vocals in it, I have to love it because it’s Brother. And that song is just… it’s a nice song. It’s a beautiful song, and I am here for every aspect of it. The lyrics, the sound… I’m here for it. I love it, and I am so glad that it’s a song that can be listened to freely now. And although London Contemporary Voices are featured throughout the album, I do feel like they give it a really nice touch on this song. And honestly, it’s beautiful. My favourite line would probably be “From morning sun to evening glow, I’m a nervous wreck, this is getting old.” I honestly cannot hate this song because it is a beautiful song.
Epiphany… I mean like Worship and Saviour this song is just a masterpiece. Like this is again it’s one of my top 3 tracks off the record because it’s amazing. Like fucking hell, where did them lyrics come from? Like okay, yeah, I’m here for it. It’s a decent song, and honestly, it’s great both in sound and lyrics. I mean how can you not love this song, just go listen to it and then try and tell me you can’t love it. My favourite lyrics are “I want to befriend couples and drink wine, but two glasses, not bottles this time.” although the end of the song makes me want to cry because honestly, same. The song ends with “I know at times you’ve wanted to kill me, let me save you the trouble, you feel me” like okay, yeah, I can relate to that a lot. Like a hell of a lot, and honestly, it makes me cry because that hits me.
That is technically the end of the standard edition, but the deluxe edition does have two extra tracks so I’ll give my thoughts on them too because they’re part of Rituals.
Cr33pin… see it’s a good song, I’m not saying it’s the best song off the album, but it’s a good song. The sound is not bad in the slightest, and lyrically it’s even better. The chorus makes me think of a time when I wasn’t okay, and honestly, I like that, because it means it’s more than just a song to me, the lyrics weren’t just picked out of a bin. The lyrics came from somewhere, and I can get some meaning from them lyrics. And it does break me a little. My favourite lyrics would have to be “But if you’re in my life, then my life’s in danger” because honestly, that’s a feeling. That’s something that I totally get.
Narcissus… This is honestly so good. This song doesn’t even sound like the sound has changed, and I love that, it really is a good song, and it is 100% classic Deaf Havana, lyrically, sound wise, every aspect of this has Deaf Havana written all over it. The opening verse says a lot about the song. It’s that little silence in it that does it for me because I love when you think a song is done and then it’s like “Nah, just kidding” and honestly, it might be the best track off the album. It’s insane like this song deserves so much love and I know because it’s only on the deluxe edition it won’t get as much love, but honestly, this song. Let me scream it after I’ve screamed Speeding Cars because that combination is a mood. My favourite lyrics would have to be “But I guess when I poison myself ’til I get sick it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s in my head”.
Overall, I don’t hate the new sound, I really don’t. And Rituals does have some decent songs, I don’t know what to make of it. I’m here and I’m going to support it because I support Deaf Havana, and it may not be my favourite album, but it’s still a decent album, and it’s got some tunes on there. Yes, okay, some of them are shadowed by the fact that Heaven and Evil are a little meh, but it’s not bad. If we take away the fact that I am used to the old DH sound, it’s not a bad album. It’s really not that bad. Take it as an album, not a Deaf Havana album, and it’s alright. If we’re only going from Fools and Worthless Liars because the sound prior to that was different as well, it’s ranking the lowest, but I can live with it. There’s elements of the album I love, and lyrically it’s not bad. The sound is what throws it off a bit, because it’s a sound I’m not used to from Deaf Havana. But you take the album as you do.