Review || The Movielife - "Cities In Search Of A Heart"

"Cities In Search Of A Heart" marks the return of The Movilife to action, 14 years after the seminal "Forty Hour Train Back To Penn". The Long Island pioneers announced their reunion in late 2014 and played the first show in 2015. The band released their fourth album on September 21st via Rise Records.

The album doesn't waste any time with intros. "Ski Mask" is fast enough, as a shot of adrenaline, to have the listener's attention. “Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel” starts off with a radio-friendly melody (which let's pretend isn't stuck in my head) that leads to a stormy finale. The transition to “Ghosts In The Photographs” is almost seamless. This the sort of song I'd expect to hear in teen comedy, or have blasting while driving with the windows rolled down. “Sister Saint Monica” is a distorted, more downtempo composition with a grungier feeling while “Pour Two Glasses” is a beautiful ballad, where the violin, the raspy vocals and the acoustic guitar perfectly intertwine in a meaningful attestation; “I'm not coming home for Christmas/I'm coming home for you”. “Lake Superior” returns to the character of the album. The vocal melody will have the listener hooked, specially in a live setting, singing along 'till the end. “Laugh Ourselves To Death” is one of the more dynamic tracks in the album despite the raw cynicism of the lyrics. “Blood Moon” and “You're The Cure” have a punkier vibe, returning to the theme established with the first songs. I am personally a big fan of albums that start and finish employing similar patterns or a recurring theme, and just when I thought that balance and the perfect circle were achieved, “Hearts” turned out to be a minimalist ballad. It's not a bad track by any means, just not the crescendo that would allow the album to go out with a bang.

I should acknowledge the sterile production and the arrangement of the songs, certain of which manage to hold a melancholic character without being sad songs. I liked that only two tracks surpassed the 3-minute mark; the shorter length really brought out the unique character of each composition. Although this style of music it's not my cup of tea, "Cities In Search Of A Heart" is a quality comeback effort.
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