My Heart to Joy – Seasons in Verse

April 29th, 2010 by WLOY Staff

Savor it. Soak it in, because like the crisp, golden rays of sun on a harsh wintry day, this is golden and warming. Seasons In Verse is a splendid mixture- one part emotional vocals, one part post-hardcore instrumentation. Sound interesting? Well, add that to the fact that Seasons In Verse was La Dispute’s (Michigan post-hardcore extraordinaires) favorite releases of the year. Unencumbered by long-running anthems and instead concentrating on a more refined and niche-focused grand design, My Heart To Joy’s full-length debut is a successful and uplifting testament to the up-and-coming band from Connecticut. And for what it lacks for in variation and originality it certainly makes up for with more aesthetic qualities like beauty and cohesiveness.

More ambitious than first meets the ear, Seasons In Verse shows that a subdued and controlled approach to qualities already mastered by other bands can certainly still result in a more than favorable output.  It erupts into a product more that’s pensive and regal without sounding pretentious or too wieldy. Every song is like a piece of a puzzle, and their similarity makes it difficult to analyze Seasons In Verse by the song. The overall sound, on the other hand, is very melodic and easier to distinguish. The rhythm section provides a bit of contrast in a more powerful and simplistic approach. The songs are often a build-up to the edge until they finally make the jump and tip off, only to survive and repeat the same thing a few moments later. Take the first song with vocals, for instance, “Empty Homes.” Layers of sounds (often very downbeat) are added on top of each other until you eventually hear the song erupt with the more frantic and emotional vocals while still sounding perfectly calm somehow. And boy, are you glad they survive the fall, because each song shows a refined and calculated progression in contrast to the more sporadic nature elsewhere on Seasons In Verse. The most obvious of these facets is the yelled vocals. While the album begins with the instrumental, brooding “Time Spent Breathing,” they quickly ditch that style in favor of incorporating clear and crisp yells throughout. The lyrics aren’t particularly genius, but they certainly match the epic manner which My Heart To Joy has a knack for, ending songs like “Seasons In Verse” with “Rebuild the forest with kinder words / To warm the air with an open heart / Lakes like mirrors reflect this honesty / Empty seasons have moved on past our reach.” It’s a splendid and intriguing skill on display here on Seasons In Verse, as they manage to pull off sublime build-ups while resisting giving off an air of pretension. The sincerity is very present not only in the strong vocals but also in the raw production. While this quality can become a bit annoying here and there, it’s a quality that certainly matches the aesthetic made prominent by My Heart To Joy. Put the catchy choruses and traditional song structure on hold, because My Heart To Joy threw it out the window a long time ago. In its place is something to match the mood, much more organic yet epic at the same time.

The glaring fault is, of course, that there’s a marked lack of variation from song to song. In short, Season In Verse follows a trajectory. It’s not in any way difficult to sit through the sometimes-tedious single songs, but as “Watch Me Live” comes to a close you’ll be left with a warming feeling of satisfaction and renewal because, My Heart To Joy make you realize, even amidst the raw production and harsh yelling, or the wintry cold and bitter days, there still lies the potential for satisfaction and exuberance similar to the potential that lies within this new band.

Recommended Tracks:

Seasons In Verse

Empty Homes

Watch Me Live

Overall Grade: 88% B+

Download on My Heart to Joy - Seasons In Verse

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