Senses Fail – If There Is Light, It Will Find You

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from chorus.fm for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Dating back to their debut extended play in 2002, a certain duality has always existed in Senses Fail’s music. For perhaps the first decade of their career, that duality was mainly applied to how the band balanced its pop-punk and hardcore roots across thirteen or so tracks on an album, as frontman Buddy Nielsen’s lyrics trended more on the nihilistic side of things. But their fifth album, 2013’s Renacer, felt like a spiritual awakening for Nielsen, as that duality started to transition over to his lyricism. 2015’s Pull The Thorns From Your Heart followed that same path as Nielsen championed living and thinking positivitely over the negative.

    Which brings us to Senses Fail’s seventh full-length album, If There Is Light, It Will Find You. It is the culmination of numerous line-up switches and life-changing experiences, as it is the first record to be solely written by Nielsen. Many of the band’s peers have risen and fallen (or never risen at all) over the nearly two decades of Senses Fail career, yet the band continues to not only survive but thrive, releasing their best album yet.

    If There Is Light, It Will Find You also feels like the yang to Thorns’ yin – with Light being more reliant than ever on the band’s early pop-punk edge while diving into some of the real life shit Nielsen has faced over the last two years. There’s a song from the last album that felt like a re-birth of Nielsen – a triumphant realization of one’s life and how to move forward from all the pain (“Wounds,” for those curious) – but that ideology has to fight through a lot on Light, as it’s consistently challenged throughout the album’s twelve tracks. On another Thorns song (“The Importance Of The Moment Of Death”), Nielsen screams that he’s “no longer afraid to die” so naturally Death decides to take him up on the dare for nearly the entirety of Light.

    It’s no coincidence that the album cover depicts an image of Death cradling the new life of Nielsen’s daughter – a stunning image that resonates throughout. The visceral “First Breath, Last Breath” has The Reaper staring Nielsen right in the eyes as he visualizes a life where his wife dies giving birth to his daughter. Nielsen wonders how he can raise this little girl without the love of his life, feeling dead spiritually and emotionally. The frenetic “Orlando And A Miscarriage” is a gut-punch of a track with Death confronting Nielsen in the horrifying form of losing a child (“I wish I could see your face, but life I guess had other plans/and maybe you’ll be born again, for someone I never met”), while the slow menace of “Shaking Hands” features Nielsen at his most vulnerable (“You’re slipping away/and now I feel the pain”).

    But the light eventually finds Nielsen along the album’s journey, as tracks like “‘You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense'” and “Stay What You Are” show a love of life and cherishing each day; adoring love letters to his wife for saving him from himself. “New Jersey Makes, The World Takes” is a pop-punk ripper that chronicles all the friends lost to drugs and alcohol, yet Nielsen reinforces that he’ll do his damndest to never give in and offers hope to those who still struggle (“I overcame all my demons and I know that you can too”). The juxtaposition between the upbeat, anthemic pop-punk with the heavy nature of Nielsen’s words showcases Senses Fail at their finest. For every doubt that appears on “Is It Gonna Be The Year?”, there’s validation on the fiery opening single “Double Cross,” a spirited number that has Nielsen still believing in his passion (“This still is the only thing that, that is worth my breath”).

    The title track closes out If There Is Light, It Will Find You in incredible fashion – it encapsulates all the best parts of Senses Fail over the course of a soaring six-plus minutes. After everything Nielsen has been through the last 24-odd months, the light still shines through the dark, even in the bleakest, loneliest of moments (“Let your love be the thing that defines you”). Nielsen not only smiles back at Death, he’s embracing the duality that it presents.

     
  2. CMilliken Feb 16, 2018
    (Last edited: Feb 17, 2018)
    CMilliken

    Trusted

    Great review Drew. Honestly haven’t listened to them in years but decided to check this one out today. I dig the album art. Also really enjoyed the album more than I thought I would.

    Edit: Went from streaming to buying it on iTunes to driving 30 minutes to my local record shop to pick this album up on vinyl. Wow this album hit hard and fast. First Breath, Last Breath just wrecks me.
     
  3. Great review for a great album
     
    skurt likes this.
  4. Drew Beringer

    @drewberinger Moderator

    Thanks for reading!
     
  5. skurt

    Sleekest of beaks. So Good.

    Great review.
     
    JediMasterKevo182 likes this.
  6. CyberInferno

    Line below my username Supporter

    I've been looking forward to this one, and your review just hyped me more. Will have to check it out this weekend.
     
    JediMasterKevo182 likes this.
  7. dubey

    Regular

    The last song on the album is the best song they've ever done IMO
     
  8. Too soon to tell I need to digest the album more but I may be inclined to agree
     
    skurt likes this.
  9. skurt

    Sleekest of beaks. So Good.

    I can say with confidence it's the best SF album closer.
     
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  10. BigMouth

    I Didn't Know What I Was in For Supporter

    Uhhh "Between the Mountains and the Sea" ???
     
    skurt likes this.
  11. skurt

    Sleekest of beaks. So Good.

    Close second.
     
  12. skurt likes this.
  13. BigMouth

    I Didn't Know What I Was in For Supporter

    I respect that while disagreeing wholeheartedly. "If There is Light..." is a hell of an album closer though. I think it's third for me behind Blackout.
     
    skurt likes this.
  14. mattylikesfilms

    Trusted

    Between the Mountains and the Sea is definitely the best closer in Senses Fail’s discography.
     
    Davjs and BigMouth like this.
  15. BigMouth

    I Didn't Know What I Was in For Supporter

    I just relistened to Pull the Thorns... and "My Fear of an Unlived Life" is a real standout album closer as well.
     
    Larry David and slimfenix182 like this.
  16. slimfenix182

    FUCKIN SAVAGES IN THAT FUCKIN BOX Supporter

    Yup. That's pretty easily my favorite song on the album.
     
    skurt and Larry David like this.
  17. Bass0820

    Newbie

    My rankings of the albums closers:

    1. Between the Mountains and the Sea
    2. If There Is Light
    3. Priest and the Matador
    4. Blackout
    5. Martini Kiss
    6. My Fear of an Unlived Life
    7. The one from The Fire that I’m forgetting the name of
     
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  18. Stevie

    Newbie

    Loving it! Anyone else think Buddy sounds incredibly like Tyson from AAR on this though?
     
    JediMasterKevo182 and Kaduck like this.
  19. SamLevi11

    Trusted Prestigious

    Really enjoying this. The last album was the first misfire for me, and this is really making up for it.
     
    JediMasterKevo182 likes this.
  20. Bartek T.

    D'oh! Prestigious

    That's a great review Drew, it got me more emotional than my first listen to the album itself! ;d though it probably means I should pay more attention to the lyrics and all, I was still too busy with new PBTT, but I'll give it time as well.
     
    JediMasterKevo182 likes this.
  21. BornToRun

    Regular

    I also haven't listened to this band in years. I went from streaming it on Spotify to buying it on itunes. I've listened non-stop all weekend. To me, the closing track is the best song they've put out. This whole album was a pleasant surprise.
     
    skurt likes this.
  22. Bartek T.

    D'oh! Prestigious

    From what I took out of my first listen, I guess I also liked that closing track the most, it's definitely good! Now I'm somehow hyped to get back to that album again.
     
    skurt likes this.
  23. Jared Luttrell

    Regular

    Great review, will definitely give this one a shot.
     
  24. Larry David

    I'll see you again in 25 years Prestigious

    JediMasterKevo182 likes this.
  25. CyberInferno

    Line below my username Supporter

    After listening to the album, this review is spot on. I especially dig the final few tracks.
     
    JediMasterKevo182 likes this.