Name: “Talking is Hard”
Artist: Walk the Moon
Release date: December 2014
Favorite track: “Avalanche”
If you’re familiar with Walk the Moon, you know its first album rocks. The pop-rock band’s self-titled, debut album is raw, passionate and fresh.
I had high expectations for the band’s second studio album, “Talking is Hard,” and they were met, but in an unexpected way. In places where “Walk the Moon” is full of deep, dark longing, “Talking is Hard” is full of a stomach butterflies kind of love and pep for days. Pop rock defines this album, more than the alternative rock on the group’s debut.
The albums are like night and day, and I mean that literally. The band’s first record is perfect for slinking through an eventful night, while this sunny album is made to see the light of day.
One thing that remains the same, however, is the group’s synth-heavy, 1980s-esque sound. If you don’t have a soft spot for the greatest hits of that decade, Walk the Moon might stray too far from your musical home base.
The first three tracks on “Talking is Hard” were made for the radio. “Different Colors,” “Sidekick” and “Shut Up and Dance” are catchy and just the right amount of cheesy.
“Up 2 U” is the obvious outlier of this album, sounding firmly grounded in alternative rock unlike the pop tracks surrounding it. I like this song because it shows me a bit of what Walk the Moon might have in store for the future. Lead vocalist Nicholas Pettrica tests out yelling with a touch of shriek, and it’s not unappealing.
“Avalanche” — what I refer to as a puppy love track — is my favorite. It’s guilt-free romantic pop for the days when I can’t weather any more doom and gloom from the likes of The National, Local Natives or Deftones.
You gotta look in your eyes
I knew you in past life
One glance and the avalanche drops
One look and my heartbeat stops
“Portugal” has the same light-hearted appeal as “Avalanche,” but it’s only a hair less catchy. Growing older, falling in love and fighting fear — the themes of the album are simple and relatable.
While I felt the band’s debut album firmly captured the millennial generation, this one captures them all.
Contrary to its title, “Down in the Dumps” is shockingly upbeat and positive. This is one of my favorites for a workout playlist. It’s ideal motivation for fast-paced exercises, like a brisk climb on the StairMaster.
This album lost my attention after that song — too much kumbaya-esque chanting and repetition for my taste. “Spend Your $$$” flaunts eclectic, compelling lyrics.
The TV says Mother is hurting
That the clock reads quarter to twelve
So I shop my face off at Urban
Just trying to look a little more like myself
— “Spend Your $$$”
“We Are the Kids” is the most ‘80s-sounding track, but don’t listen if you ever plan to remove it from your head.
The record tugged back my alertness with “Come Under the Covers,” a song I interpret as an extension of the band’s debut. It’s epic, sultry and enchanting — in an indie-rock kind of way. This challenged my decision about which song was my favorite, so definitely give it a listen.
Just look at this album cover.
This album art is no facade. The bright yellow cover perfectly indicates the music to expect inside.
This record is your inner cheerleader. Well, if your inner cheerleader was a group of four goofy hipsters.
Hey, I'm Savannah. I collect records, and they collect dust. Like my preferred media form, I strive to not become obsolete. I created Off the Record as a way to turn my mind inside out, into something visual and tangible. One is the loneliest number, so I asked my friends to join.