2015 left Broadside feeling half-empty. The band’s debut Old Bones had a few stunning tracks but fell short on a lot of them as well. Paradise is different, but not in the way I was hoping for. See, in Old Bones, I enjoyed songs like “Coffee Talk” which were angsty and aggressive, while keeping the pop melody in their music. Paradise feels as though Broadside were trying to be poppy. All of it feels rushed.
While “Hidden Colors” and the title track “Paradise” are fun and catchy, the third track “Lose Your Way” feels forced; the extended carried vocals, the weak bridge, and a try-hard chorus just don’t let me take much of this album seriously. Even “Disconnect” starts off strong and falls flat before the minute mark, where the chorus is empty and the following is even more pathetic. “Laps Around A Picture Frame” offers something different, though, when Baxxter’s vocals are grittier and the lyrics are incredible (“the person I am isn’t the girl I was raised to be”). If there’s any song to pull from this album, it’s this one. Still, the song’s chorus – while bearable – sounds too poppy and not what this album should be going for.
The only full song I found listenable was the ballad “Summer Stained” – carrying a personal approach, as the whole album does. The female narration near the bridge is emotional and can snap a heart in a breath. This album feels the same way throughout and it’s disappointing because so many people were calling “album of the year” but the execution is unfortunate.
Broadside – Paradise
Release: June 16, 2017 – Victory Records
Rating: 6/10 – Brad LaPlante
Replay Worthy: “Summer Stained”
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it?: Skip it. While the band had some hype, the entire album falls short.