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Album Review: The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - 'Harmlessness'

30 September 2015 | 11:36 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Soft spoken and hard hitting.

Sometimes pigeonholing a band into a certain genre is a means to underrating their substance. Generalising the new The World Is A Beautiful Place album 'Harmlessness' as the paragon of emo revivalism is complimentary, but also naive to the experimentalism that underpins its artistry.

'Harmlessness' is less of an appendage on the body of work presented under the moniker The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and more of an embodiment of the name's concept. Proclamations like 'I am alive, I deserve to be' ('Rage Against the Dying of the Light') and 'we won't die' ('Haircuts for Everybody') make it vodka-coloured clear that The World Is A Beautiful Place are still grappling with what they're putting out there. The relative struggle to believe in the name of this band is one of its main points of empathetic excellence.

From a musical standpoint rather than a message one, 'Harmlessness' loads its arsenal with real instrumentals, at times shocking with simplicity on acoustic guitars and at others using an eclectic armoury to draw their mountains to peaks. The album draws on indie one second and switches to folk the next, a diversity that prevents you from yawning even in the double whammy of over seven minute tracks that hit you at the end.

The highlight of 'Harmlessness' is 'January 10th, 2014', a somewhat epic that best expresses the male/female vocal dialogue that weaves drama into the LP and makes it sound like something out of Forgive Durden's cult musical 'Razia's Shadow'.

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Each song on this album is innovated but not overdone; fragile but not broken. It may promote 'Harmlessness', but its brutally emotional influence on listeners has the opposite effect. If you cried, you've probably got grounds to sue for false advertising.

1. You Can’t Live There Forever

2. blank #11

3. January 10th, 2014

4. The Word Lisa

5. Rage Against the Dying of the Light

6. Ra Patera Dance

7. Mental Health

8. Wendover

9. We Need More Skulls

10. Haircuts for Everybody

11. Willie (For Howard)

12. I Can Be Afraid of Anything

13. Mount Hum