[Album]: Disappear Here
[Artist]: Bad Suns
Overall Grade/Rating: A or 9/10
Subject Matter: A-
Replay Value: A
Fav Songs: Heartbreaker, Love Like Revenge, Maybe We’re Meant to Be Alone
Least Fav Songs: Disappear Here, Off She Goes
Play or Nay: Play
After the release of their debut album Language & Perspective, Bad Suns weren’t going to rest on their success as Disappear Here shows a lot of growth and experimentation in their glistening pop-rock sound. Lead Singer Christo Bowman’s smooth vocals and Bad Suns’ signature guitar tones drive this beautiful album through the primary theme of unrequited love. What makes the album a success is the growth from the first album, as there are several similarities but also many new elements. Ramping up the use of 80’s style synths pairs nicely to the sparkling guitars they have mastered. Rhythmic experimentation takes place much more on Disappear Here than on Language & Perspective, which allows the melodies and vocals to gain importance in the overall production. Don’t worry though, Disappear Here is equally as catchy as Language & Perspective and many songs will be stuck on repeat for weeks.
The lead single and title track “Disappear Here” is a good introduction to the slightly different sound as their typical pop-rock sound is mixed in with some electronic drums as well as some variety on the seemingly straightforward rhythm. The second song and single “Heartbreaker” is a shimmering pop hit, led by an interesting vocal arrangement performed exceptionally by Bowman.
The most impressive song on the album is “Love Like Revenge” as it is their first song to feature primarily synths as opposed to guitar. The writing and production do an excellent job to fit the sound smoothly with the rest of the album. This new sound proves much more than simple experimentation as “Love Like Revenge” is definitely one of the stronger songs overall. The synths and horns combine well with their off-rhythms and Bowman’s always strong vocals.
“Swimming in the Moonlight” and “Defeated” step back in to the foot-stomping pop jams of earlier Bad Suns sounds. “Defeated” should appeal to early listeners to Bad Suns as it is one of the older songs from their early repertoire updated for the new album. “Swimming in the Moonlight” is the most upbeat song on the album as far as lyrical content, and it plays in the sound as well as the bright guitar riffs and harmonies make for a fun love song.
“Daft Pretty Boys” is the best representation of the whole album, as the synths and the guitars combine here in full force. It also has the most encompassing lyrics. “Violet” is one of the more dance ready songs on the album, and continues to use alternate rhythms without jarring the listener.
“Maybe We’re Meant to Be Alone” is probably the only song released by Bad Suns so far that could be considered a ballad, but it fits them well. They fall into a groove as easily as they rock out. The beautiful piano flourishes in the choruses adds a whole new dimension to the sound, which uses a lot of vocal swells from Bowman on top of the usual guitar sounds. This song is certainly one of the stronger songs on Disappear Here as it demonstrates their mastery over their sound, allowing them to shift it up to dance-pop or down to a slower ballad with ease.
Disappear Here closes out with “Outskirts of Paradise” a breezy pop hit that plays on all the strengths of the album, and will surely leave you wanting more. “Outskirts of Paradise” once again delivers a strong performance from lead singer Bowman who stretches his range for the vocal flourishes here.
While Language & Perspective may be a stronger album overall, Disappear Here is certainly a worthy sophomore album for Bad Suns. Bowman takes considerable strides as a vocalist on Disappear Here and the added contributions of synths and out-of-pocket rhythms cause this album to take a big step forward from Bad Suns’ previous sound. The ability to grow and experiment should make Bad Suns a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.
Listen to the second single off Disappear Here “Heartbreaker” below, and get listen to the full album on Apple Music and Spotify.