Music Editor Aimee Sargeant reviews Walk The Moon’s new album, saying it has moments of energy and vibrancy, but at times it slightly misses the mark

Written by Aimee Sargeant
Second-year Music Editor

Walk The Moon return after four years with their new twelve track album HEIGHTS. Their previous albums were full of bouncy, lively energy that made them easy to sing to. Their previous 2014 album, TALKING IS HARD, produced hits such as ‘Shut Up and Dance’ and ‘Work This Body’. Their new album is no different. It is just as energetic, full of vibrant tracks.

The opening and title track ‘Heights’ sets out what this album is about to do. It is giving an album full of synth-laced anthems. Something that Walk The Moon is known for. Possibly one of my favourite tracks from the album, the addictive chorus with the chantable chorus that grows with the beat and guitar riffs is one of the best moments of the album. Similar to the opening track, there is ‘DNA (The Keys)’. A song that has a really addictive beat running underneath Petricca’s vocals. Looking into mental health and self-love, the lyrics are inspiring ‘Release yourself / There is No-one else / Until you free yourself / You can’t help anyone else’. It shows the importance of becoming stronger.

It is giving an album full of synth-laced anthems

‘Can You Handle My Love??’ is the first release from the album. It shows that the band have not changed their signature sound that they are so well known for. It is an upbeat pop-alt track that is completely recognisable and attributable to Walk The Moon. The distinct electronic and percussion sounds shows that they have stayed true to who they are. However, it is really nice to see that they have not tried to recreate a track similar to ‘Shut Up and Dance’, they have created something new. Similar to ‘Can You Handle My Love??’ is the closing track ‘Population of Two’. An electronic rock ballad that explores love, eloping and spending your life with the person you love. It is a beautifully written track, and one of my favourite moments in the track is the guitar solo in the bridge. Somehow, Walk The Moon are able to mix rock with electronic sounds and make this sound completely like it is meant to go together. A lyrically similar song is ‘My Kids’. An upbeat track that appears to explore love (again) and wanting to have children with this person. I would argue that this is a little generic and not a particularly special song which appears to use a lot of stereotypes (‘You make a sexy mama […] Say you’ll be mine with my kids’). Not the most creative lyrics.

Then there is ‘Rise Up’. Something of an anomaly within the album. The track starts with a gospel choir, then Petricca appears to deliver a kind of sermon to the audience (the listener). It is an inspirational track that gives a positive message about getting up when you fall and ‘Ris[ing] up’. Definitely something different, but it appears to fit within the album’s messages of positivity and energy. Another unique track from this album is ‘I’m Good’. It sounds extremely stripped down for Walk The Moon, something which you do not hear very often. It takes a normally very cliché topic (breakups) and turns it into something positive. It is a breakup song, without the hard feelings. There is an acknowledgement that they should feel more hurt than they are, but they just feel ‘good’. There is a bittersweet contrast between the lyrics and accompaniment, showing an emotional complexity within the album.

It still has moments of energy and vibrancy, but at other times I feel it slightly misses the mark

‘Giants’, ‘Don’t Make Me’ and ‘Someone Else’s Game’ sound extremely similar to me. There is a gentle start that builds to the chorus, but this leads to nothing exciting unlike ‘Heights’ and ‘Rise Up’. ‘Giants’ is extremely atmospheric and sounds extremely subtle unlike anything else on the album. I think that this is one of the slow burners from the album that feels similar to some of the other material previously made on past albums. ‘Someone Else’s Game’ sounds very disjointed to me, but it does experiment with their sound. It is more anthemic than anything else on the album and has some amazing moments within the vocals of Petricca. It also feels more personal to the band, which is nice to see.

Walk the Moon have appeared to mature slightly in this album. But it is no different from any of their previous albums. It still has moments of energy and vibrancy, but at other times I feel it slightly misses the mark. Listening through the whole of HEIGHTS is an experience that does not always appear to sound new, but it shows that the band still have their signature alt-pop sound.

Rating: 5/10


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