Reviewing music is a topic that has been prevalent in my mind for the blog for quite a while. However, my whole “reviewing should be completely objective” thing combined with “I don’t actually listen to a lot of music” made for very lofty self-expectations, which was intimidating. Now that my mindset is a lot more mellow (probably?), I’ve rekindled my interest in putting my thoughts out on a medium that makes up a great portion of my (and likely many people’s) lives. What better way to start than with an album that already coincides with another interest of mine?
For those unaware, Red Vox is a band that was co-founded by Mr. Vinny Vinesauce, founder of the Vinesauce channel on Twitch/Youtube, a group I’ve already made a semi-relevant post on. Vinny has always had a strong passion for music, and it was evident by going to his streams even occasionally throughout the years. Since the announcement that he was starting to work on his own music, as a fan, I’ve kept up to date with whatever new songs came out and all that. Standard fan things.
I’ve actually listened to What Could Go Wrong a few times, but a tendency of mine is to pick out select songs from albums and listen to them on repeat without providing much love to songs I find less appealing. So, in a sense, I’ve listened to the entire album a few times, but to about a third of the album a billion times. To remain consistent, I’m actually listening to the album as I type out this post, and I plan to do so for any subsequent music review posts.
And since this is my first album review, I was conflicted on how to approach it structurally. I could simply relay my thoughts on the album as a whole and highlight a few songs, or I could list my thoughts on every song off the album. Please bear with me as I try to organize things for more proper reviews in the future. For now, I think I’ll go with the former method, as the latter seems too uniform for me.
What Could Go Wrong is Red Vox’s debut album, so expectations were pretty all over the place on how the album might sound or how Vinny would be able to carry himself as the album continued. Based on a few singles released prior to the full album, one thing that was prevalent was a tendency to go heavy on bass and guitar, with a notable alternative vibe. Lyrics felt tinged in emotional distress, perhaps exemplified by the heavy tone of the instrumentation. With the full album, there’s actually a semi-decent variety of “softness” to the tracks, with some being a little more formulaic in structure; an intriguing combination of alternative, grunge, pop, and blues.
To be perfectly blunt, I do not think Vinny’s voice is great, but it’s adequate enough to allow the music to sync up well with. A very raspy quality that reminds me vaguely of Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters/Nirvana fame. This doesn’t stop him from trying to sound melodic in this album, however, as a few songs are very vocal-heavy, including “There She Goes” and “Back to School.” While mostly low notes, there are sequences within songs where he attempts to go higher, with mixed effect. I believe his voice is one that is more suited for lower, more frenetic vocals, also showcased in “There She Goes” (my personal favorite track off the album).
When I listened to this album for the first time, there were four tracks that stood out to me the most:
- There She Goes
- Back to School
- Job in the City
These tracks have remained consistent in their quality, to my preferences. I still really adore “There She Goes,” and “Back to School,” while probably the most simplistic track off the album, has a nice beat to it that helps boost its accessibility. It’s somewhat ironic that these four songs are what stood out, as each have almost completely different tones. “Job in the City” almost sounds like an anomaly to the album, as its energy feels almost Disco-like, while “Hazy” is a rather poetic song with lyrics balancing self-worth (a common theme for the album).
Listening to the album now and re-familiarizing myself with the music, “Ghost Page” has been given a bit of a glow-up in my mind, as the soft-to-hard transition between the front and back portions of the song really gets to me. There’s a tremendous, I guess you could say, “bass drop” around the halfway point that puts things more into focus, while also relaying the power of change. It’s a pretty jarring thing that I’ve become somewhat accustomed to, being such a big fan of Foo Fighters (who apparently trademarked the soft-to-hard transition in songs, if their history is any indication).
As for the rest of the album, I feel there’s a good variety of different hooks and moods, though many do come off as a little forgettable. Something I find to be an issue with albums that have a central “theme” is that while some songs get highlighted by great instrumentation and/or lyrics, others don’t hit the same strides, and their place in the “whole” ends up making them seem more lost in the shuffle. This tends to a recurring theme for me with other Red Vox albums (oops, spoilers), but considering this was the debut album, I didn’t fault them too much for it.
For the more practical portions of my brain, I look at it like this: Out of 13 songs on What Could Go Wrong, I really enjoy 5. There aren’t any I actively dislike, but many others don’t settle in my head as comfortably as the aforementioned 5. A 5 out of 13 ratio isn’t exactly great, so the overall score will suffer for it, but this isn’t to say I think the 8 others are dismissable, only lesser. I think all things considered, the album is a definitive success and is easy to recommend to those who enjoy alternative, emotional, and occasionally psychedelic rock tunes.
Favorite Track: There She Goes
Final Score: 6/10
You can listen to the album here:
Have you listened to this album? What did you think of it? I’d love to know your thoughts below.
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.