Just a few months ago, The March Divide had released their debut album, “Music For Film.” And this July, we have the sequel, Music For Television. Since their February release, The March Divide has grown. Originally, Jared Putnam (from The Conservation), was practically on his own.
First things first, let’s start with the good. Music For Television, much like it’s predecessor, is really good on the instrumental front. The second track, “So It Goes,” has a fun, poppy sound. The fourth song, “LA,” comes packed with a nicely placed harmonica and skillfully and soulfully played guitar. The album is constructed well too. In a world where people often just nab a song or two to listen to, it’s often not worth taking the time to make sure each track fits in it’s right place, but Music For Television put in the extra effort. To say the least, it was worth it, the album is seamless.
The singing is where things get a little sketchy. It’ll be said a thousand more times, but vocally, the band sounds great too. Putnam’s voice fits the genre well, and he carries a certain sincerity that can really be appreciated. Unfortunately, the lyrical content is where it all starts to go downhill.
Music For Television is painfully pitiful. Each line of lyric is going to rip your heart into pieces, and I don’t mean that in a good way at all. For instance, in the song, “Small Differences,” Putnam sings, “I’ve worked my life away and everything’s the same,” you’re left with the urge to shout back, “Welcome to adulthood, buddy.” It doesn’t end there though. The song, “Duplex,” features a line that rings out an opening line, “Only four more years to go. It’s been so long it’s almost all I know. Should I leave it all on faith –I didn’t work this hard to just walk away. I know, don’t I know?” And maybe that doesn’t seem that bad, but it’s an entire album features a similar tone.
Understand now, the vocals really are great. Frankly, I’d love to hear more of Putnam, just not in this context. To be blunt, the lyrical content of this album is completely unrelatable. While most emo-esque albums nowadays feature some lines that you might be able to at least say, “yeah I’ve felt that,” Music For Television just leaves you wondering what the hell happened. It’s immature and distressing really. Is Jared Putnam going to be okay? I’m really not sure, the guy talks like people ruin his life for sport.
In Surviving the Golden Age’s review of The March Divide’s first album, fellow writer Caley Ross was kind enough to leave a disclaimer and given my own take on the band’s second album I feel the need to do the same. I’m often a fan of these kinds of albums and I often fall in love with lyrical content, but I just can’t seem to stomach Music For Television. The band did great musically and Putnam has a fitting voice for the genre, but it’s just what he has to say that really gets me. Hell, maybe it’s just the season. Who wants to be sad in the summer anyways?