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“The Sum of Who We Are”
by: Gabe Nye
Framing Hanley’s newest release, The Sum of Who We Are, is an album that’s been long awaited by dedicated fans. Having been four years since their last release, A Promise to Burn, those that have stuck by the band will be happy to hear that their patience has paid off. The Sum of Who We Are is a record that will please the haters and inspire the fanatics. Having listened to Framing Hanley back in high school, I’m familiar with their role in the lives of teenagers. This album, however, shatters expectations.
There’s not a lot about this album that I would call bad. The vocals are as energizing as they have ever been, with every note that’s sung being an anthem to the various emotions that we have all encountered as teenagers. No, their lyrical themes haven’t changed much. They still sing about angst-driven situations that are riddled with melancholy love songs. However this role is what found them success in the first place, so why fix what’s not broken? For those looking for a more lyrically mature album, you might want to wait for the next one. That’s not to say that the lyrics are bad, but they’re also not too different than any other band in the scene.
There are plenty of things about this album that are wonderful, though. As previously mentioned, the vocals lead the album into an anthem for the youth of today. Every song begs to be sung along with, and I guarantee there will be dozens of guitar covers floating around the Internet within a few weeks of its release. The guitars in this album compliment each song perfectly. Every slower, sincere song is accompanied by a lovely guitar piece, and wailing, powerful guitars drive the more upbeat songs. The feel of the album as a whole is incredibly uplifting, and is such a fun record. Each tune is as catchy as the last, and the songs get stuck in your head for days.
While not the greatest album I’ve heard this year, it’s definitely one I’ll be listening to more often. Having taken a break from Framing Hanley once I grew up a little, this album begs me to give them another chance. It proves that they’re still making good music, and that they want you to come to their shows and sing along. Definitely a great release by a group that I thought had disbanded. I’m giving this album four stars because while the lyrics and music itself aren’t that impressive, the band proves how much fun their music is and how relatable they can be. The Sum of Who We Are is a great record, and be sure to watch out for its release on April 29th through Imagen Records.
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