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Brings Me To Life!
No Name Face - Lifehouse
Member Name: SomethingToBe
No Name Face - Lifehouse
Advantages: Brilliant lyrics, brilliant melodies
Lifehouse are an American rock band from LA who came to prominance after their single "Hanging By A Moment" became massive in America. They have never had much success over in the UK, much like alot of American bands in the same vein. The album "No Name Face" is their debut album as Lifehouse (although a previous album was released under the band name Bliss), released in 2001 and the group consists of Jason Wade (vocals and guitar), Rick Woolstenhulme Jr. (drums, percussion), Bryce Soderberg (bass guitar) and Ben Carey (guitar).
Lifehouse are a soft rock band however their is a definite Californian edge to many of their songs, often laid back and very easy to listen to. The more upbeat of their numbers are not overbearing and there are plenty of ballads with a rock twist to them. The band are not afraid of using different instruments either, with the use of strings, different percussion and even a banjo present on No Name Face!
Although the Dooyoo description says that there are 14 tracks on this album, on most versions it only goes up to 12, so they are the 12 I shall mention!
1. Hanging By A Moment
The song that launched the band into the spotlight and in my opinion, rightly so. One of the pacier numbers on the album, this song is as full of emotion as any of the ballads yet the vocals are not forced over the strong instrumental backing. Wade's voice really suits the song and is generally raspy and deep, however it has a really nice soft tone to it which conveys the sincerity of the lyrics through the melody.
2. Sick Cycle Carousel
This is a mid tempo number and I think very cleverly written. The lyrics really fit the melody as the song progresses, particularly during the chorus. The On the first couple of listens it may seem bland and forgettable, but is a definite grower- song is deceptively catchy, which will probably go unnoticed until you find yourself humming the chorus without realising!
In my opinion, one of the weaker tracks on the album however still a pleasent listen. Wade's smooth vocals carry the song as his voice is so striking yet relaxing. Probably more background music, but still recommended!
4. Somebody Else's Song
I really like this song as it demonstrates how versatile Wade's range is as a singer. The chorus is very swooping, for want of a better word, and the song varies from being soft and steady to loud and powerful within a few seconds!
I really like the beginning of this songs, which is just the vocal with a guitar, really referencing the bands origins in sunny California. A perfect beach song! The instrumental slowly builds, with more guitars, a piano and a soft drum beat, however remains relaxing and calm throughout without being boring. There are some pretty vocal harmonies also, nearer the end of the song, demonstrating the vocals of the other band members. Would suit the perfect sunny weather we are experiencing at the moment!
6. Only One
Another song in the same vein as 'Trying' sees this track continue the Californian beach vibe, whilst still maintaining the rock band edge that Lifehouse do so well. What I like about this track is that it suddenly has a kick towards the end of the chorus which brings in guitars, bringing the song alive and giving it some substance.
Written about a boy at Wade's school who was bullied, this track is one of the most powerful lyrically on the album. Starting extremely softly, there is a fairly long intro as the instruments build up, although remaining stripped back for the first verse. The power really comes in the chorus, where the emotion is clear in the vocals, backed up really well by the strength of the guitars.
8. Cling and Clatter
I enjoy the experimental beginning of this song, which sounds like something is trying to be tuned, however somehow manages to work really well! I think the intention is for the melody to be focused upon here as the chorus is pretty catchy and this song is fun to sing along to (with no hard to reach notes for any unfortunate listeners!!)
One of my favourite songs, the beauty of this track is in its simplicity. The deep vocals of Wade mix so well with the simple backing, to show of the lyrics, which are beautifully written about being completely and utterly in love with someone. I cant really do the song justice in words, so I would just recommend listening to it!
Hard to follow up 'Breathing' in my opinion, but I really enjoy the stark contrast with this song! A more uptempo and powerful number there is a catchy guitar riff and a catchy chorus to hook you in. I also like the lyrics in this song as I think almost everybody can relate to it- getting to a point where you need to cast away something or someone that has been weighing you down and allow yourself to be free again.
11. Somewhere In Between
Reverting back to the relaxing beach vibe, this track will send you off to your relaxing place again, making for a nice listen after the emotion of the previous two songs.
Another simple and beautiful song, begins very softly and gently however a gradual crescendo runs throughout the entire song. Another set of beautiful lyrics culminating in a lively, strong and effective climax, makes this final track of the album one that really leaves an impression, as I believe a final track should always aim to do.
Considering that Wade was only 20 when these songs were written, this album is simply astounding and really gives weight to the phrase "less is more". There are no fancy vocal tricks or crazy instrumental sessions, which leaves No Name Face as a simple yet intelligent and beautiful record. This is actually one of my favourite albums as there is not one song that i don't like and as you can see, so many of the songs I have given 10/10 to. Some people may find the album boring, but if you listen to the poetry and thoughtfulness of the lyrics, I believe this could not be further from the truth!
Summary: Perfect accompaniment to the recent weather! Give it a listen!