The Naked and Famous have released their fourth studio album, Recover. This album lives up to its title, providing listeners with anthemic, healing one-liners and uplifting production. It’s the band’s first album as a two-piece, instead of a full band. The remaining members, Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers, prove their strengths in this new chapter for the New Zealand electronic indie-rock band.
The first track is also the title track, which puts a lot of weight on the meaning and impact of the song. “Recover” lives up to this expectation, being an experimental, pop-influenced track with lyrics everyone can relate to. The song starts with Alisa and Thom’s vocals together, singing “I can’t replace the loss with another // But I can regain myself and recover.”
“Sunseeker” is another electronic-pop track, perfect for riding around with the windows down in the summer. Lyrically, the song is about falling in love with someone who brings sunshine and positivity into your life.
The pre-chorus of “Bury Us” is extremely reminiscent of Tegan and Sara‘s 2013 hit, “Closer.” This track brings us back to indie electronic-pop of the early 2010s. “Easy” continues this nostalgia with lyrics about an unhealthy attachment to someone. Thom sings, “Every time you leave I have to heal.”
The next track, “Come As You Are,” was one of the pre-release singles from the album. It’s a track about accepting everyone “as they are” and embracing their imperfections.
“Everybody Knows” is the most effortlessly cool track on the album thus far. The chorus is scream-worthy, with Alisa singing, “Everybody knows you’re my sickness and my cure.” It’s another track about being so connected to someone that it might not be healthy in the long run.
The duo brings the tempo down a bit in “Echoes in the Dark,” a track that focuses on interesting production elements. It serves as an interlude with no lyrics besides Alisa muttering the title. It does connect the following track well, providing an introduction to “Well-Rehearsed.” This is the darkest track on the album so far, with dramatic drums signaling its importance. “Monument” has a futuristic glitch effect on Alisa’s vocals in the chorus, which is the stand-out moment of the track.
“Death” was another pre-release single and has an interesting stylistic choice of using a vocal effect. Although the track is a bit morbid, it focuses on appreciating the moments you have with people because “there will be a last time that we see each other.”
“Count on You” is the most intriguing track on the album. It’s a song about missing memories as they happen, and being nervous about never getting the feeling back again. Alisa’s vocals are powerful and you can tell she really means every word she sings. Following is “Muscle Memory,” another interlude with no lyrical content.
The track “The Sound of My Voice” indicates the ending of the album. There’s heavy synth throughout the song, indicating that the beat will pick up, but it barely does. It works well with the lyrics, as Thom sings about negative space and time never stopping.
“(An)aesthetic” could be part two of “The Sound of My Voice.” The production is basically the same, but the wordplay stands out on this track. The last song, “Coming Back To Me,” finally changes up the sound a bit, leaving listeners on a positive note. It wraps up the album in a great way, touching on most of the topics explored throughout the first 14 tracks. Alisa brings us hope as she sings, “Everything I’ve loved // Everything I’ve lost // Is coming back to me.”
Recover is an album about just that: the positive and negative emotions felt during a recovery period. Sonically, the album is cohesive, but some tracks stand out and are more memorable than others. The intro and closing come full circle, which is satisfying for listeners. The Naked and Famous have given us a great album for the current state of the world; it’s honest about its hardships, but has plenty of self-love anthems that celebrate the joy of being alive and being yourself.
Featured Image: Universal Music