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Life’s Not Out To Get You
by: Brittany Muldoon
Welsh pop-punk band Neck Deep is back with their second full-length album, “Life’s Not Out to Get You.” On this album, Neck Deep doesn’t stray too far from the sound they established for themselves on their previous album, “Wishful Thinking.” While the albums are similar in style, “Life’s Not Out to Get You” is clearly much more polished and well thought out.
The album has a stellar lineup of songs, starting off strong with a call to action in “Citizens of Earth.” Every song earns its spot on the album and none of them sound out of place. Neck Deep transitions effortlessly between upbeat anthems such as “Can’t Kick Up the Roots” and slower ballads like “December.”
The lyrics on this album are incredibly written. Emotional, raw, and clever, the words of these songs will connect with almost any listener. “Can’t Kick Up the Roots” speaks to how everyone feels about their hometown while “Kali Ma” is a smart metaphor for getting your heart broken. The lyrics are so important on this album because they display a wide range of emotions to relate to everybody: depression, heartbreak, love, and most noticeably: hope. While there are several songs about heartbreak, each one has a hint of hope and good intention in it. “Citizens of Earth” is an anthem encouraging listeners to take action in their lives. “Gold Steps” speaks about how life sometimes brings you down but “trust me you’ll be fine.” “Gold Steps” also contains the album’s namesake phrase, “life’s not out to get you.”
Lead singer Ben Barlow’s versatility is also shown throughout the album. His vocals are loud and edgy on tracks like “Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors” while the ballad “December” showcases his softer side. The album also includes acoustic versions of “Can’t Kick Up the Roots” and “Lime St.” which further attests to the fact that they can take the energy down a few notches and still sound flawless.
While we appreciated hearing the full band version of “December” as a bonus track, the acoustic version adds something unique to the album and gives more meaning to the lyrics. The full band version isn’t bad but it doesn’t add much to the record.
Normally there are at least one or two songs on an album that are the weaker links and don’t sound like they belong. There is not one song on this album that is out of place. Each song is very well produced and very well placed into order on the album for an overall excellent listening experience. Whether you’ve been with Neck Deep from the beginning or this is the first time you’ve heard their music, this album will not disappoint.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Gold Steps”