Close your eyes and imagine a winter's night.
A cold, dark, film noir era New York City lays in front of you, covered in stark white snow. There's not a star in the sky. Nothing but black sky against white cityscape.
You walk slowly, hands in pockets, collar up, hat cocked, scarf wrapped tightly to your neck. Itchy but bearable.
There's jazz in the air, its faint but you notice it none-the-less. Maybe it's that fumbling bass, lolloping, but intelligent and ever recognisable, always ready to drive the music into a cacophonous car crash.
Straight into the wall ahead.
You turn a corner, raising your hat slightly. The night has never felt so cold, the moon never so ominously white against the black.
You hear a voice from across the road. A melancholic, weary voice; "You know I'd never leave you, no matter how hard I try". Honesty never sounded so raw.
Ahead now, you come to another open street, the blizzard has worsened, your visions impaired but that voice still calls. You take off the hat and scarf, ignoring the burning frost, stripping away your worries. Music starts up somewhere near, loud and layered, pushing the hoarse voice to the audible background, allowing him to raise his tone and volume with the swirling guitar and snow around.
You turn your head to see a silhouetted figure running straight toward you, blurred by the snow and blackness. Your coat falls to the floor as you sprint away.
Percussions explode within the music, exciting the guitar to follow suit, letting the voice jovially run along side.
You've lost the pursuer now, your safe. You sit. Your hands and face are ice. The music surrounds you. "I miss you, I miss you, there's no one else, I do, I do". Honesty never sounded so cold.
Open your eyes.
As you can probably tell, this album needs not so much a 'review' than an imagination. It's filled with moments of passion and pain, love and regret, majestically juxtaposed and encapsulated in almost every song. It's a journey through the coldest of places, cities, moments and feelings all strengthened by some of the weirdest production values we've ever heard on an album and if it didn't suffer from a feeling of slight repetition two-thirds of the way in, it'd be near perfect.
This is music for adults to listen to, a soundtrack of maturity to take in and appreciate; this isn't your simple Hadouken! bloody mix-tape.
This is music.