Album Review: "When in Doubt..." (2020) by Stature of Liberty
Stature Of Liberty is a project by Montréal based musician Guillaume Landry. He wrote, recorded, and mixed the whole album himself. The project started with him recording several musical ideas on his computer. When the pandemic hit, it gave him a chance to put his ideas into practice. Born from the desire to create without any compromises, the project has been a lonely and constant musical challenge for him. The greatest challenge he faced was doing virtually everything by himself. Previously, he was only a drummer, but during the project, he was also a guitarist, a bassist, a singer, and a technician. His debut album When in Doubt... was released on the 23rd of December 2020 and it comprises 7 tracks. From dark shades to brighter pop hooks, the album explores personal and human struggles. The album could be depicted as an intimate introspection. You can check out more from his site where there are artworks from 7 artists on his songs. Check out the website for all the artwork and lyrics: https://www.statureofliberty.co/ Follow Stature of Liberty on Instagram: @stature_of_liberty Click here to listen When in Doubt... on Spotify. Click here to listen When in Doubt... on Apple Music.
The first track of When in Doubt..., Sundays successfully depicts a distressing Sunday evening. The song is somewhat of an internal reflection, which was sparked by the discomfort of a Sunday evening. While listening, the listener can easily get absorbed in a black and white evening. The song effectively conveys the feeling of agitation which is one of the strong aspects. This is achieved mostly by the mixture of dark and forward vocals with the synths. The song is constructed like a synth-pop song with a dark flavor. The song may benefit from a little more action in the climax. Overall, Sundays is a well-constructed song that is especially potent for people who experienced the Sunday evening blues. #2 Friends Compared to Sundays, Friends is a more guitar-centric song even though there are atmospheric synths. The song is the author's reminiscence of a past relationship that disappeared due to the hardships of life. The song makes the listener feel nostalgic and somewhat sad. The song is quite personal and has both English and French parts which makes it unique. Friends is an emotional song with an intriguing composition. It is especially nice to listen to at night.
#3 Stained When the synth and drum dominant intro starts, the song starts to recall David Bowie's Black Star. Surely, Stained has quite potent lyrics and is more alternative-rocky in comparison to other songs of the project. However, the dreamy synth makes the mood more surreal than it should have been regarding the aim of the project. In a holistic view, this choice is solely another flavor and thus doesn't harm the potency of the message. Nevertheless, the consistent atmosphere created by the drums and synth drives the listener to concentrate on lyrics. This is a great choice as the song doesn't have any lyrical climaxes; it seems as the artist rather wants the listener to be in the song as a whole. The phase changes near the end, releasing the tension developed throughout the song. This is also a good choice in a song that doesn't have clear climaxes. This kind of chorus (?) creates a picture in the listener's mind for the whole song. #4 Wish You Well The project continues to surprise the listener as Wish You Well starts with non-generic percussions and breath effects. Stained creates a surreal atmosphere on the listener which stays throughout the song. The vocals are more like narration rather than emotional outbreaks. The song is successful at demonstrating the solemn, broken-hearted individual with the imagery in the lyrics. However, the consistent rhythmic background and synth accompaniment might have shifted more in order to create a change in mood. Nevertheless, this dilemma in the song demonstrates the oxymoronic good wishes for the old beloved. Overall, this piece is one of the most emotionally effective songs on the album. The connection between the musicality and the message makes this song particularly enjoyable.
#5 Growing Up The album continues with a similar rhythmic background. Growing Up includes a piano line and makes the song more dramatic. The story part of the song deserves the listener's focus. That's why the background might have been simpler at some parts of the song. At the heart of the song sit the themes of delusions and 'growing up.' The vocal style might be enriched by minor elements just for the story to be more effective. This way, the style is near to be monotonous when the prior pieces of the album are considered. However, the musical background still keeps the listener's attention. The double harmony of the vocals is a good choice which makes the song a delightful piece. Overall, Growing Up is a peaceful song that will remind you of personal journies from any time in your life.
#6 Voices The sixth track "Voices" stands out as one of the more menacing songs in the EP. As the title of the track suggests, the song is about voices, and voices heard in someone's head especially. The song person is unable to identify if it is whispers they are hearing or the "voices" coming back again which suggests that the song person is going through some sort of a mental crisis or instability. It is the eerie melodies professionally done by instruments that create the unsettling yet inviting atmosphere of the song. #7 Twenty The seventh track of this EP has a less eerie yet chilly feeling compared to the sixth track. One can say that the beat and melody that is present in the track reminds them of a Sunday afternoon. The lyrics are addressed to a lover which the song person never wants to let go of and always share twenty more years of their life with. It is quite pleasing to see that the title of this track has this meaning. Overall, it is safe to say that "Twenty" is a track that does a good job of having a chilly afternoon feeling that is cold yet comforting.