So one of my favourite bands released their new album about a month back and it's beautiful. It's so raw and real, I'm in awe of the songwriting. I'm going to do a review of my favourites ordered by their appearance on the album, although that's going to be very, very hard because literally every song is my favourite. However, I thought you should all have a bit of backstory before you listen, so you can appreciate the beauty and pain in this album.
Basically, "Astoria" is the past four years for Josh and the highs and lows that he went through. Having Call Me Maybe become huge, being nominated at the Grammys, going on arena tours and getting engaged. His mother being diagnosed with Dementia, his fiancee leaving him, spending lots of time in and out of the hospital, losing his motivation and drive. This album is pretty much his diary of the past two years. He got tons of people who had been there with him in the crappy parts to actually play and sing little bits on the album. If you want to find out more, the video below goes into the making of Astoria (there is a bit of swearing in it, be forewarned).
For some stupid reason, I can't upload the video directly from YouTube, so you'll have to click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDuZ5bs4g1s .
If you know Marianas Trench, you'll know that their opening songs and their closing songs are always the best. This one is no different. It's a medley of a whole bunch of different styles and really intense and it definitely sets the scene for the rest of the album to follow. 3:00-4:30 is the best part of the song in my humble opinion, because minor key and his falsetto. Language warning if you don't like that kind of thing.
2. Burning Up
Alright, so none of the videos will embed in my post. You'll have to click the links if you want to hear them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=423Dln7tZ10
I heard the chorus first on a little preview and was immediately grinning. It's totally got the 80s party vibe and his high notes here are beautiful. I love, love the cockiness in the line "Don't say you don't miss me that much, don't say I don't still make you blush". It's about a relationship that maybe it's going the greatest. Then the guy is saying, "Is this really that bad? Are you really going to call this off? You can see the chemistry we have, don't deny it."
3. This Means War
I can relate slightly to this one and it's another upbeat song. The way I see it, it's about two people who used to have chemistry, who would banter a lot. Then they moved away and kind of lost touch, then when they'd see each other again, they'd be all polite. They'd ask each other how they were doing and ask about their lives. But the chorus is talks about missing the bantering, the chemistry, the "war". It's fun. I like it.
4. Dearly Departed
Don't even get me started on this one. Ugh, it's so beautiful and simple and I love it so much. It's just a ukulele and a violin. It's him singing about his relationship with his fiancee. It hits me right in the feels every time I listen to it. The bridge is the best part of the whole song because it has references to all of the songs he wrote for her. If you're not a Trencher, I've written the lyrics of the bridge below, and bolded the song references, just because you have to see this. It's amazing.
"Every masterpiece I'd write again
You'll always be my porcelain
I crossed my heart
But I stuttered too
So truth or dare
Was I good to you
Haven't had enough of you all to myself
Still right beside you
In sickness and health
For ever after
You will be my home
And there's no place like home"
5. While We're Young
This one is beautiful. It's the one that you get your lighters out for when they play it live. It's slow, but not soft. There's a different sort of vibe, less put together. I don't know how to describe it. It's more... messy? The guitars aren't perfectly mixed and it sounds so good. The song's about being in a relationship and slowly growing apart. The slow fade. The chorus talks about how they're young and it should be the time of their lives, but they miss each other.
6. Forget Me Not
I tear up every time I hear this song. My parents can't listen to it without crying. Basically, don't listen to it unless you're ready to feel all the feels. Josh wrote this song about his mother and how she's slowly forgetting him. He says he isn't ready for it all, he still needs his mum, but he's going to be there for her. He'll help her back into the bed and be her forget-me-not. It's beautiful and so sad.
7. End of Era
Kay, I love this song for so many reasons. First, so many references to other songs in other albums. Porcelain, Masterpiece Theatre, Ever After, Celebrity Status, they're all in there. And it makes me so happy listening to it because I feel like so many artists kinda throw out their old music when they make new stuff, almost ashamed of it. With these guys, they embrace it. They make it part of who they are today. Second, I absolutely love the medley, the way they managed to combine so many different styles of music into an amazing piece of art. Just when you think it can't get cooler, it does. Then I love the lyrics and the meaning. It's all about not forgetting your past but moving on and saying goodbye. He's saying goodbye to the past couple years of his life, his "Astoria". He's grown up, he's moved on, he needs to say goodbye to his past. The first song sang "Tell me I survive you, Astoria". Then this one sings "How did we survive you, Astoria?" A conclusion. An ending. I could literally copy and paste the entire song lyrics here, but I've narrowed it down to three lines that I absolutely love.
"I'm so afraid of trying something newCause every start begins with saying goodbye to you"
"(How did we survive)We went through hell in Astoria
(How did we survive)
We lost ourselves in Astoria
(How did we survive)
I gave in to sickness
Can you find forgiveness
For a dear old friend
So Astoria can end"
"I hope you know that I don't blame you my dear friendAlways will love you still
But Astoria must end"
Anyways. This album is amazing and beautiful and this was possibly the hardest album review I've had to write because there are ten amazing songs I didn't even include in this list. You should all go listen to it, because it's priceless.