This album from Floating Above Reason gives off a wonderfully organic energy fairly instantly. With opening track Feel, the bright and vibrant sound of that funk driven acoustic guitar comes across with a certain softness that is comforting to listen to. As the leading vocal comes into play, the melody fits well alongside the instrumentation, as does the beat, and all in all the mood is mellow, laid back, optimistic and peaceful.
The melody line used for the hook section of Feel is notable, though not excessively catchy – the perfect balance, really. The contrast between the energetic, lyrically dense section and the smoother, slower Feel line is really effective in giving the song an identity and a lasting after effect.
The creative style of the band’s music becomes clear from the first couple of tracks. The variation between the two is notable, but there is a distinct thread – the musicality has character, as does the leading vocal, and it’s all got a beautiful warmth to it that gives you a lot of confidence in the collection on the whole. You can trust in what will follow. My Friend has an honesty and closeness that runs a real touch of humanness through the music, and structurally, the song satisfies in a way that is both skillful and seemingly effortless. The music seems to come naturally to those involved, and this has huge appeal, particularly when the sound is as organic as this.
Being able to trust a band to play the music that works for you is a big part of what makes an album effective and enjoyable in the long term. This is exactly the impression given off by even just the first few songs on Imperfect Life. As Life Passes By is a stunning bit of songwriting with a gorgeous indie vibe to it that is really well placed within the collection. It shows an eclectic nature to the band’s creativity, and it comes as a pleasant addition to the project. The melody and the lyrics are emotionally loaded and instantly real and gripping, but what really drives all of this forwards so strongly is the vocal and musical performances. The rock style guitar solo playing lightly in the background adds a lot of authentic feeling, and furthermore, the leading vocal brings a huge element of genuinity and openness to the words and the concept. It’s a big moment within the album.
Looking Back follows this track beautifully, this entire mid-section of the album has a certain depth to it that contrasts well with the somewhat lighter introduction. It takes a little while, a little dedication to the sound, to really get to know the band, but the reward is immense when you finally get to that point – there’s nothing fake about the music or the lyrics, it’s just an honest form of artistry that has thankfully been skillfully written and performed and sounds consistently beautiful. Looking Back has an ambiance to it that causes you to look back through your own life, and that’s real musical strength, something a lot of people will appreciate and benefit from.
My Brother brings a little bit of style and soul to the show, the intro is crisp and captivating, then the questioning nature of the lyrics really brings about those feelings of real life and reflection. The music has a gorgeous rhythm, the leading vocal presents those questions with great feeling, and all in all it provokes thought, it inspires a wider consideration, and it causes you to drift off even further into the soundscape of the moment.
The variation within the album is strong, and it keeps you involved – there’s always something new to look forward to, yet at the same time there is always that indie rock beauty within the instrumentation, the rhythms, and the leading vocal, all of which you can rely upon to calm your troubled soul. No veers off in another new direction, and it’s a good moment to change the pace a little, then You In My Mind pulls out the explicit honesty again to remind you of the heart and depth that has gone into making all of this music.
Then you get to She Cries, where the indie folk sound joins forces with a soulful bit of blues, and together the fusion has a fully organic and alternative rock and roll vibe. The song is smooth and gritty and addictive, a superb bit of writing and musicality – the guitar sound is sublime, the instrumental break really strikes hard after the raw sound and feeling of the melodic mainland, and the after effect is one that most probably will bring listeners back for a fair few repeat experiences.
The final two songs bring back the gentle beauty of the album’s opening section. It’s a clever arrangement for the collection, you get a little bit of everything from the band, but most importantly, you get a dynamic understanding of their style and their viewpoints and their artistry, and I’d be genuinely surprised if you’re not a fan of the songwriting and the overall sound of Floating Above Reason by the end of the project. Listen to Brand New Day when you’re alone and your heart will ache as nostalgia meets optimism.
The collection finishes up with A Journey’s End, where the soulful sound of a classic and warm, settle-you-down piano ballad slowly soothes you back to normality. Some albums deserve their place in the long term playlist of existence, and Imperfect Life is one of them. Floating Above Reason write and perform genuine songs of life and learning and hardship and hopefulness, and their poetic and musically expressive creativity presents it all in a gloriously captivating and calming way.