Day Wave’s EP Hard to Read is just so dang good. I don’t even care if you listen to this new album, just go back and listen to that EP (wow, what a great sell on getting you to read this review). Although I do not think The Days We Had is as good, it is far more accessible than the EP. It is also even more straightforward, which is difficult to imagine with how consistent the EP is. But that consistency can become boring and lack the dynamics that the EP had.
I know, I hate it sometimes when people won’t shutup about past work of artists comparing it to their “awful” new material because it isn’t the same exact thing they put out before. But you not liking the sound as much doesn’t mean the band should continue to make new music which directly parallels their past work, it just means you don’t like the new direction—and that’s fine. My concern with this album is mainly with the recording and production. I think The Days We Had is simply too cleanly produced. Usually for most music, that’s not a bad thing. But the distortion in the vocals and fuzziness around the guitars fit so well on the EP in creating that organic vibe. This new record just sounds over fiddled with and procedural.
What is so funny is at this point you probably think I hate this album, or at least dislike it. Neither of those are true. I just felt like Day Wave was projected to be one of my favorite new bands, but now Jackson Phillips (synonymous with Day Wave) is just an artist I really like. It’s not simply the way the record was recorded, but also his songwriting weakened as well. Almost all the tracks could have been more captivating. Outside of songs like “Bring You Down”, “Wasting Time”, “Promises”, and “I’m Still Here”, I feel like every song could have been easily improved. I really believe that the reason this stems from is he tries to stick to an idea or a concept a little too tightly. The songwriting doesn’t feel quite as compelling. Instead it feels like he was trying to tie pretty bows around each track by keeping it extremely neat and organized compared to letting it flow a bit more naturally.
I wish I loved this album. I really wish I did. And I like it, no doubt. But Jackson could have created a phenomenal record, and unfortunately I feel like he came up short. Hopefully this album will grow on me and my opinion will change. It usually does.
Album Artwork: 6.5/10
Top 10 Potential: Sure