Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Razzmatazz: The Album Review

By: Danielle Tierney/Junior Writer

I Dont [sic] Know How But They Found Me is definitely not something I expect for people in the area of country music to be familiar with. I’ve had an admiration for them and the headman, Dallon Weekes, since I first listened.

The first time you listen to them is magical. It will hit you with a wave of emotions, and, to me, the music creates a dreamlike and vivid atmosphere that is addicting.

Weekes never lets down with a song. Lyrically, conceptually, and musically this band has songs that are so unique and so brilliant that I believe you have to give them a listen. This is a review of their debut album Razzmatazz and all its glory.

Track 1: Leave Me Alone

Leave Me Alone would be the radio single of this album. It would also be the first officially released song of the album. Listening to this song for the first time, I was completely struck in awe. Compared to the songs on the EP, Leave Me Alone was the real first taste of the new album. The dark lyrics and fun melody combined with the runs make it such a vivid and encapsulating song. Instrumentally and vocally, it is truly unique to iDKHOW, and it’s such a fun and lively song to listen to.

Track 2: Mad IQs

Currently, I would consider this song one of my favorites. It came out with the full release of the album, so it was one of the newer songs to listen to. The beat in the verses as well as the vocals give it a dazzling and upbeat vibe. The bass in the song also adds to that atmosphere. The melody is so addicting, with instrumentals and vocals that are flashy and bold, and it fits perfectly into place with the rest of the song. The whole atmosphere of the song is enjoyable and uplifting. Without a doubt, listening to it will always put me in a good mood.

Track 3: Nobody Likes The Opening Band

When touring was a thing, this song, although not officially released, was the opener to concerts. Of course, because Dallon Weekes likes to do things differently, he did not want it to be the opener of the album. It is very simple musically, its main instruments being the piano and tambourine, and the lyrics are beyond witty. I would say this song is more for the fun of playing live rather than actually listening to, but it still holds up with the rest of the album.

“Take pity on the opening bands
‘Cause no one came to see them
Except their mom and dad
But if you lend an ear
And give them just one little chance
You may just like the… opening band”

Track 4: New Invention

This song is another one of my favorites. It came out before the album as a way for the band to show thanks to patient fans when the album delayed an additional week. The bass in this song really stands out, and is one of its best aspects. The melody is so exciting. With the layers of harmony, the vocals, and the lyrics, it is overwhelming in the best way possible. Lyrically, it is unique and brilliant, and probably my favorite on the album in that regard.

“The girl is like an architect and I am just a new invention”

Track 5: From The Gallows

This jazzy and somber song is about Obsessive Love Disorder. It is really fascinating and does not follow the rules of a typical song. It even has a small spoken word bit in the middle. The lyrics in this song are very sinister and dark, and I think Dallon did such a good job with embodying the disorder. The melody is also a great part of the song.

Track 6: Clusterhug

This song comes from an unreleased demo of Dallon’s from his old band The Brobecks. Not much was changed from it besides lyrics, but he wanted to give this song a proper recording. I was obsessed with this song once I discovered the demo about a year ago. With beautiful instrumentals and lyrics, this is one that listening to for the first time will change everything. The bass is such an amazing touch as well as the brilliant poetic lyrics. Even now, this song has a special place in my heart.

Track 7: Sugar Pills

Sugar Pills to me is the pop dance song of the album. Everything about it is so fun and enjoyable to listen to. With a melody that is sure to get stuck in your head and verses that are equally as exhilarating, it is a standout song on the album. Another component is its very memorable bass riff, and its instrumental piece in the middle. Weekes’ high notes on this track are also very noteworthy.

Track 8: Kiss Goodnight

Kiss Goodnight is a magical synthy love song that is also one of my favorites. Weekes wrote this song about his wife and the first night they met. The atmosphere this song creates is incredible, and the melody is heart wrenching and beautiful, as well as the lyrics. It must be listened to in order to really feel its impact and emotions and its dreamlike ambience.

Track 9: Lights Go Down

Those who have been following iDKHOW for a while know this song fairly well. Lights Go Down was another unreleased song that was played live, and its single came out prior to the album. Finally getting to listen to the studio recording of this song was so exciting. It’s a pretty eerie and unique song, and I adore the way that it builds. Although advised not to, Dallon put a saxophone solo in the middle of the song, and I think it was a magnificent call. The ending in this song is its greatest component to me, with how the vocals layer on top of each other in the perfect way. The lyrics are also poetic and striking.

Parade through the ballrooms
Decay in your costumes and dance

Track 10: Need You Here

Need You Here is an adorable song featuring Dallon Weekes’ daughter. Being a musician is hard when you are a parent. Dallon has had experience having to leave for long periods of time on tour and not being able to properly spend time with his kids, and its obvious this greatly affects him. The song properly embodies that longing to be with someone you love. The harmonies, the lyrics, and instrumentals work together to create a masterpiece overflowing with emotion, as well as the spoken word bit of his daughter talking about him having to go on tour.

“There is no other place in this world that I’d rather be
If I can’t be at home then I’ll send my apologies
Can’t you stay right here forever pretty please?
I need you here with me”

Track 11: Door

Door is another song fans of iDKHOW will recognize, as it has been played live on several occasions. The harp and atmosphere of this song is heavenly and moving. The sorrow yet simple melody along with the ukulele instrumental make it an enjoyable song if you just need to take a second in time and feel music, or think about life. Emotional and flowing, this song adds to the magic of this album.

Track 12:Razzmatazz

And finally… the title track Razzmatazz. Another very unique song to iDKHOW, its very bold and flashy, which I think describes the album in its entirely quite well. The chorus and pre-chorus are just stunning. The way that the lyrics paint pictures and the harmonies overlap really brings this song to life. Along with all of this, there is a saxophone solo featured in this song that adds an extra jazzy and memorable appeal to this song. This song will definitely be magical to experience live.

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Danielle Tierney
Danielle Tierney grew up in Hallstead, Pennsylvania. She is a full-time student, with many hobbies on the side. Some of those hobbies include playing guitar, playing piano, playing ukulele, listening to music, lyrical ballet, riding bikes, and swimming. She would love to talk to you about the band The Strokes at any time of the day. Because she didn't have games on her old Windows XP desktop as a young kid, she wrote stories on Microsoft Word for fun.

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