Island Records · February 1, 2019
American Authors’ third album delivers a blend of classic and fresh sounds that rely heavily on the classic pop music formula.
American Authors is a pop-rock band hailing from New York City that is probably best known for their 2014 single “Best Day of My Life.” While previously known for their upbeat, feel-good pop style, their third album Seasons departs from the norm. The album still contains many of the general pop aspects from their previous work, such as basic lyrics and repetitive melodies. However, Seasons also contains songs and orchestrations that focus on a deeper, lesser-known and more emotional side of the band. Seasons delivers a nice variety of classic, yet fresh sounds but still relies heavily on many of the basic pop conventions that the band is known for.
The feel of this album is very different than that of Americans Authors’ past albums. There are still upbeat pop songs that stay true to the band’s original style such as “I Wanna Go Out” and “Bring It On Home” which evoke feelings of joy and hope through their up-tempo beats and instrumentation. However, many of the songs layered throughout the album are a deviation from this. Songs such as “Say Amen,” “Calm Me Down,” and “Deep Water” are much more emotional, powerful, and drawn out than anything the band has produced before. This is due to their pulsing beats and soaring harmony of background vocals. These songs feel inspiring and hopeful to the listener, giving the band a fresh sound. Other songs like “Neighborhood” are even more emotional and give American Authors an indie twist that features acoustic guitars and slow melodies. The variety of genres present on this album demonstrates the band’s diversity and highlights possible new areas and types of music for them to explore in the future.
While Seasons is innovative in its sound, its lyrical structure is where it falls a bit flat. Almost all of the songs fall into the lyrical structure of basic pop songs. Simple phrases are repeated throughout the verses and especially in the chorus. One song that stands out from the rest, however, is “Deep Water” which features poignant lyrics like “It comes and goes in waves/ It always runs back but it’s never quite the same.” Songs like this make the album lack a unifying theme. Thought, there is a big emphasis on needing someone, relying on them and what that can do for a person in some of the lyrics. These songs are emotional songs about love and what home can be. In comparison, some of their more classic sounding pop songs have lyrics that focus on having a good time.
Overall, Seasons sheds light on the potential the band has for growth in the future. While in some ways the album can be basic and can rely on a pop style through its lyrics and structure, it takes new leaps in its sound and gives a varied collection of what the band is capable of.
Listen to Seasons: