Coming into the new year, we’re all looking for a bit of inspiration. And with the first week of the decade being a little less than ideal, with fires and potential war, I think we’re all just looking for some reassurance. With their fourth album, Suite No. 2: World Keeps Spinning, The Brilliance shows us the light and just how wonderful this decade can be. Unless you know, we screw it up.
Like their previous albums, this album is a beautiful mix of heavenly orchestrations, questioning lyrics and a raw openness. The genres move from choral compositions to pop songs making it incredibly difficult to surmise in a few hundred words. But with the optimism and gumption of an enlightened listener, it’s best to make an attempt.
A dark worrying string section brings this album to life. “Release Me” is a dramatic start to the album, weaving its way through the genre of classical music. Like the start of anything new, it takes the listener by surprise as it drags the strings into a dystopian indie track that contrasts silence and heavenly choral arrangements perfectly. This album is about life and weaving your way through it, and this track is like a fast-tracked musical adventure of life.
The Brilliance are best known for their delicate inclusions of orchestrations and choral work throughout their albums. While many artists stay, and sometimes wallow, in the realm of overly serious classical music, The Brilliance stray away from the norm with their clever infusions of pop. “How Do We Know” took me by surprise. After sitting down and listening to the heavy orchestrations of the first track, “How Do We Know” is light and cuts through the dense classical landscape of the album. What really surprised me, however, was how it launches you into a pop track with all the fervor and enthusiasm of a newborn puppy. Bouncing around and making everyone feel good, this track is an unexpected diversion that gets listeners listening.
Despite the album covering the more existential of topics, it concludes with a “Hey Jude”-esque track that brings both the tracks and listeners together. “World Keeps Spinning” is a five-minute mix mash of the album’s tracks is sewn together with a string section that sounds a little distorted. The disjointed strings create a sense of unease that is until they ask “when we will love each other?” Just confirming that in order to save the world maybe all we actually need is love. The track becomes more frantic as it ends and concludes with a rousing orchestral crescendo that doesn’t end with the usual cadence, keeping the sense of unease.
As an absolute sucker for melancholic orchestrations, this album has become the perfect antidote to my New Year jitters. While the subject matter is heavy in places, it mutes this anxiety with mellow strings and reassuring lyrics that really do deaden the sense of perpetual panic. As an album is beautifully crafted and reassuringly cohesive and it an album that is already making strides for those end of 2020 best-of lists.