What is it?
An album from a duet called BOY. Valeska Steiner is from Switzerland and Sonja Glass is German. This is their first album.
What is good about it?
iTunes labels their music “Alternative.” But iTunes generally blends Alternative and Singer/Songwriter genres so these labels are a bit deceptive.
I love this album. It has a definite “Weepies” vibe to it. Steiner has one of the purest voices I’ve ever heard. If you listen to her speak (like on YouTube) you hear a very thick European accent; when she sings, however, her English is very crisp and she sounds like a native English speaker.
There is a solid balance of mellow and upbeat tunes. “Drive Darling” is hauntingly relaxed. “Little Numbers” is one of the purest pop tunes released in a long time.
Overall, this album is both current and timeless. Musically, it sounds as if it were recorded yesterday. Thematically, it feels ageless. The song “Waitress” paints a clear picture of solid boredom mixed with a healthy dose of hope and optimism.
Ultimately this album is about life transitions. “This is The Beginning” tells of the optimism of arriving in a new place:
Open the boxes, unpack what you own.
Hang up some posters and make this a home.
Walk down the stairs and open the door.
Look at the things you’ve never seen before.
“Drive Darling” is about leaving home; it’s like a modern “Landslide.” These songs convince us that even ordinary experiences and relationships invite us to move on through life and become better people.
What could be better?
It’s hard for me to find fault with this album. It works perfectly on every level.
I think the only thing that could make this better would be some more poetry in the lyrics. A lot of the lyrics are a bit too obvious. However, since English is not the songwriter’s primary language, you can’t expect too much. Having said this, I do admire some of the clever imagery. In the simple lullaby “Waltz For Pony” this verse is very clever:
It’s not just the two of us, we’re three
You, the hungry beast and me
And it’s starving but it can’t attack
I’ve put two saddles on its back.
Hints of God’s Story.
This is not a “Christian” album. I have no idea about the musicians’ religious background. But they do know how to give us clear picture of the world.
Hints of Creation
The songs “This is The Beginning” and “Silver Streets” summon us to find beauty in this world. God betrays his artistic motivation through his repeated declaration of goodness. In a number of places, this album wants to walk with you and point to goodness and ask you to agree that “this is really good.”
Hints of The Fall
The songs “Boris,” “Oh Boy” and “Skin” are the darkest of the album. They are about the ugliness of devaluing humanity. When we make people into objects, the imago Dei becomes a mere whisper in both the victimizer and victim.
Hints of Redemption
While some songs accurately portray man’s evil tendency of objectifying others. “Army” and “July” show us that community exponentially multiplies loving humanity within relationships. After listening to “Army” you long for true friendship.
They’re a boat when I’m underwater
They tame the sharks and they calm the waves
When I choke they pat my back harder
My load is light, my secrets safe
And I’m alright on my own but with them I’m much better
They’re like diamonds and diamonds are forever
This album almost feels like a musical version of Instagram. It’s a plain picture of reality filtered to look ordinarily different and beautiful. I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t turn out to be my favorite album of 2013.