It used to be that “sex sells.” Nowadays, in 2017, nostalgia probably sells better than sex, and it’s random, obscure, niche nostalgia that really sells. Look at all the recycled TV shows, movie remakes, band reunions at festivals, fan conventions paying homage to yesteryear ad nauseam going on right now. Even South Park satirized this phenomenon with their now infamous “memberberries” parodies. This kind of cashing in on niche nostalgia from the past seems to be Rise Records’ and The Movielife’s plan with their new album Cities in Search of a Heart, which will most likely be very successful, ’cause folks are easy marks for nostalgia.
This is The Movielife’s first studio album in 14 years. Sadly, it just sucks. They are not the caliber of band that you would expect to hear on Rise Records or at this elite level of the music industry – period. Now, The Movielife isn’t that bad. They’re not like your brother’s shitty local band bad. They’re more like the ninth best local band in your hometown that might open up on the Ernie Ball Stage at the Warped Tour at 11 a.m. after winning some lame contest bad.
Whoever produced Cities in Search of a Heart tried to produce the vocals in a way so that the listener would not know that the vocalist could not sing, but it was such an epic fail. So, what we end up with is entirely way too much production on the vocals during the entire duration of the album and the vocalist is still off key and out of tune the whole time, while he still has all this needless distortion/effects on his voice anyway. It’s absolutely dreadful.
The mix in general is horrid too. Everything is way too compressed and distorted. The whole album is muddied up as if the band and producer are trying to hide something. Maybe their point was to make it sound raw and real, but if you want it to sound raw and real, then why not use raw and real sounds to begin with? Speaking of, you can barely hear the drums in the mix. It’s almost as if the drums are an afterthought, like they don’t even matter, like the only thing that that matters in this band is the really shitty vocalist, that guy with tons of effects on his vocals.
Fans will like this album; everyone else probably won’t. Fourteen years and nothing has changed: the guy in The Movielife still can’t sing his way out of a nut-sack. And Rise Records is obviously looking to make a quick buck off nostalgia.
Cities in Search of a Heart