January 27, 2020 Theory of a Deadman – Say Nothing (Album Review)
Formed nearly 20 years ago up in British Columbia, Canada, Theory of a Deadman (THEORY) have always been a Rock-n-Roll band that wrote quality songs. From the early days of tracks such as 2002’s “The Last Song” to 2008’s “Not Meant to Be,” and everything in between, they have certainly grabbed Mainstream Rock fans’ attention over an extended period of time. Traditionally covering themes such as relationships gone bad, in more recent years they have expanded their repertoire with other topics such as substance abuse, as heard on the big 2017 hit “Rx.” Somewhat of a turning point for the maturing band, they look to up the ante with their forthcoming studio album, Say Nothing, due out on January 31st through Atlantic Records.
Their seventh overall studio record, some may say it is a carryover from 2017’s Wake Up Call album, and that is justifiable considering its major success. Which leads to the question what are you going to get with this new album? Answering that question you will get a band who is continuing to spread their wings, fearlessly trying new things, and not necessarily sticking with the typical Rock-n-Roll their core fans have grown to love. Not a bad thing. The sound is certainly more Pop than before, less heavy guitar wise, but topically much more striking with honest, straightforward lyrics addressing divided nations (“Strangers”), domestic violence (“History of Violence”), poverty (“Affluenza”), as well as various other hot button topics.
That said, while the lyrics are quite on point, very well hitting a nerve for some, the music itself is smooth, mellow, and quite calming at times. It all starts with the catchy, Pop vibed “Black Hole In Your Heart,” complete with catchy words and a head bopping baseline. From here you are hit with the powerful lead album single “History of Violence,” which is beautiful and addictive while possessing a sense of sorrow. Telling the story of a physically abused woman, it has a tragic outcome that still finds you feeling strength and determination.
This atmosphere is pretty consistent through every song on the album that follows. That includes “Affluenza,” the title-track marred in regret; “Strangers,” reflecting on the frayed nature of society; the self -doubting “World Keep Spinning”; plus the genre-bending “Quicksand.” Then amidst it all comes the curiously titled “Ted Bundy,” featuring probably the harshest rhythm of all, pulling you right in. Complete with a catchy chorus, it is easy to memorize and you will keep wanting to listen to it over and over.
Overall the arrangements for each of the ten songs on Say Nothing are brilliant, matched with some of their most bold lyrics to date, and the irresistible vocals of Tyler Connolly. Even though the topics of the songs might be a little harsh, the music wraps them into wonderfully soft tunes that makes them accessible to a broader audience. Lasting for a little over thirty minutes, Say Nothing flows flawlessly, leaving behind a void that can only be filled by hitting play once again. That is why Cryptic Rock gives THEORY’s new album 5 out of 5 stars.