FEATURED ARTIST *Andrew Southworth* Doublethink - ALBUM REVIEW


 

ALBUM REVIEW

Andrew Southworth - Doublethink

Tewksbury, United States



 

BACKGROUND

 

Andrew Southworth’s 5th album Doublethink has already amassed over 1.2 million streams on Spotify alone due to the whopping 12 singles out of this massive 19-track album. It was created completely independently from songwriting to mastering by one guy in one room. Despite that singular vision, Doublethink ranges from crushing future bass drops to stuck-in-your-head pop hooks, atmospheric electronic segments, and gritty rock vocals. Doublethink is an album two years in the making, with the first single releasing early 2020. While it’s not a concept album the global pandemic, work-from-home lifestyle and media hysteria inspired a lot of the stories and messages contained in the lyrics. From inspiring messages for your future self to depressing fictional stories (and depressing real stories), and realizations about life after ‘adulting’ for a decade. So let's get into this album then!

 

REVIEW

 

Andrew Southworth's latest album entitled 'Doublethink' is a whopping 19 tracks long! So let's break this all down, shall we? Track 1 named 'Life Is Short' shocked me in its opening. Full of dreamy synths and vocal chops we're then hit with a trap drum loop that rides along with his emo-rap vocals. I'm so into this album already! Emo rap/emo-pop is one of my favorite types of music so I'm now really excited for these 19 tracks! The lyrics are deep as usually found in this type of music, they address the darker times in your mind whilst reflecting on the concept that life is short. 'Best Friend' is a whole mood - opening with a dreamy and sad guitar loop, the heavy synths take the backseat whilst still managing to dictate the feel of the mix. Full of low mood the lyrics highlight a sense of existential contemplation through the use of the words "A house is not a home" and "I think I'll be okay". 'Over' opens with a dark EDM progression through the use of moody and distant vocal chops and a classic EDM synth arrangement. As the track develops we hear a lift like nothing I've heard in a while. This track has been mixed in a way that the vocals and the rise and fall move-in motion with each other perfectly. This is a gritty and more heavy rock-inspired vocal execution. Man, I love it. The way that the 808s are combined with the synths to change the tempo of the track is just brilliant and effortless. 'Fire' strips the sound right down into a real pop-style anthem. A simple but effective guitar loop opens the track along with his unprocessed vocals before adding drums. As the track lifts before the drop we're given banging kicks until the whole synths-filled hook comes into play. I love the minimal instrumentalisation in the verses and the was the drop bangs. 'Alive' takes us back to a place of pain and darkness through its clever use of strings, 808s, heavy guitar synths, and an overall merging of feelings. Andrew Southworth is a real talent. 'Dreaming' gives an 80s-inspired choppy synth combined with spacey vocal chops. Definitely sold the name of the track here. The vocals remind me of Bullet For My Valentine's 'Tears Don't Fall Album' but with the dark elements of EDM that are found in the works of DJs such as Martin Garrix. Specifically - Martin Garrix feat. G-Eazy & Sasha Alex Sloan - Love Runs Out with a hint of heavy metal. It's such a great track. 'Sunrise' continues this theme through a similar production style. We hear a variation in this artist's tone in this song as he takes his pitch up during several parts of the song. 'Socialize' hits us with lead metal guitar riffs along with a bass guitar riff that really enhances the energy of the song. This one leans on the side of screamo but with electronic music. Just when I thought this artist couldn't get any more diverse he did it and kept my full attention too! 'Undone' has a real feel of Linkin Park with a twist about it through its opening and the vocals - rap makes an appearance in this album now and I'm about to fall off my chair in excitement. 'Where Did You Come From' has a completely different register in the vocals when it opens. This brings something fresh to a sound that was previously heard in the project. A happy choppy high octave piano melody offers something happier to the album with a more pop feel to the whole production. The lyrics are catchy and the beat is happier than the rest but the narrative of the vocals remains quite sad in tone. Emo-pop is the main influence here. 'You' continues the upbeat nature that began in the track before it but with an EDM influence, even some afrobeat and funk thrown in! I'm so impressed with this artist and his team (if he has one). 'Neutron' is futuristic! Home to heavy bass, choppy synths, and a real dominant kick this track will get you bopping for sure. 'Collide' got me in my feels straight away, I'm a sucker for an emotive guitar loop. Lyrics of an existential nature are key to this song and are found in the following lines - "In the end, we all die", "What if I'm the only one who feels the way I do every time we collide?". Track 14 entitled 'Glitch' offers glitchy samples and elongated high-pitched vocals alongside a dreamy synth. This is quite an edgy but upbeat track. 'East' gives us a dreamy feel through the use of long pop synths in combination with more staccato synths. This track is absent of vocal content and really shows off the skill behind the production and the mixing. A great move. 'Skies' takes you up to the clouds once more through the use of slowly plucked electric guitar layers, a soft percussion that weaves in and out of the mix, and vocal chops that almost sound angelic. Again, a track with no vocal content allows for the production skills to be shown in full recognition. 'Outlook' continues the dreamy guitar style found in 'Skies' but brings a slightly different feel through the use of a drum trap loop. Female vocal samples lift this track occasionally to break up the instrumental. 'Over-Cinematic Version' offers us a broader version than the original. In concluding this project we're given 'Life Is Short - Electronic Version'. This version really speeds up the tempo of the instrumental without losing the feeling of the vocals. I really like the alternative versions at the end of the album. It showcases the artistic versatility that Andrew Southworth owns whilst also making us 'doubletake' on 2 versions of 2 tracks.