Keep Quiet- “Odd New Celebrity”
“Rare as it may be, I found not a single song on 16 I needed to skip; the entire album is a series of wins.” -DWDawson White
out of 10
Odd New Celebrity
October 15, 2013
I have a bone to pick with Keep Quiet and it’s that they’ve kept quiet far too long. Where have these guys been (besides undeservedly under the radar in Knoxville)? I’m flustered I’ve had to trek this far through life without their honest, epic rock to keep me company and confine me to the straight-and-narrow.
You know when you hear a catchy song and, as good as it may be, can tell it’s fabricated? Like they took a few strands of truth and whole lot of drama and wove them together to create a less rich, less meaningful knock-off of the would-be brilliant tapestry? While so many bands peddle the overpriced-gift-shop-replica, Keep Quiet’s Odd New Celebrity humbly donates the gallery’s main attraction. Something in the robust vocals and swell of the instruments leads you to the belief that every word of every song is more achingly true than lyrics can describe. The narrator bares his past and takes us on a rough and bumpy ride through his triumphant rises and disastrous falls: a fall from a plane, a rise to widespread social acceptance, a subsequent pride-induced descent, and finally, ascension on the wings of a glorious saving grace. The vulnerability echoing from the heart of Odd New Celebrity manifests in the listener both wonder and dread: fascination in getting a look at what really makes the strangers of Keep Quiet tick and the horror in standing on the sidelines watching them bleed.
Every song is a thought provoking epic. Each melds floating melodies, energetic choruses, and blunt but poetic lyrics first into three-and-a-half minute chapters, then into a broader novel that spans the album as a whole. The track list is told in story form on the back of the record with the song titles in bold within the paragraph (which, if you ask me, is funky and super cool). The well-executed attempt at linking the songs into an over-arching story that leaps over potential-pretention to gift us with art within the art.
Odd New Celebrity opens with its strongest – though not my favorite — song, “Regret.” Wrought with melancholic guitar licks and a bass line that says “I should have known,” the first track explores a young man’s traumatic realization that everyone has an end. Our narrator’s immortal mindset and child-like innocence is ripped away with urgent drum beats and the waves of the Atlantic. “Guilt,” another song that pulls to the front of an already impossibly fast heat takes us into the assumed last thoughts of a dying man. “Pain,” my favorite song on Odd New Celebrity, laments our narrator’s regret toward his past transgressions before reconciling with the fact “healing only comes to those in pain.”
Rare as it may be, I found not a single song on Odd New Celebrity I needed to skip; the entire album is a series of wins. My only complaint, however, is that its cohesion occasionally tiptoes into repetition. But don’t worry, it’s quiet and doesn’t wake the baby. Keep Quiet’s debut album is built on a hopeful, spiritual foundation that subtly but beautifully permeates every song on the album. With themes of thankfulness, unworthiness, and the sometimes-burden of second and third chances, Keep Quiet delivers an honest, complex, well-crafted alt-rock album that both entertains and encourages.
Thank goodness they didn’t take their eponymous advice.
Pre-order the album here.-Dawson White, September 10, 2013