With the release of Bright Black Heaven just days away we’ve decided to go ahead and do a review of the record for you all. While the record itself is still not 100% perfect it does a damn good job of being enjoyable. It has its high points and it definitely has its low points, but it should be noted that overall the tracks are very cohesive in the context of the record. This record truly shines with Deconstructing Gods, Everybody’s Friends, Let’s Be Honest, and With Your Arms Around You. It’s in this section where you can really feel how well Davey and Jade fit together as partners. Every beat that Jade lets loose is evenly matched by Davey with his superb melodies. Deconstructing Gods is probably the most emotional out of all twelve tracks and what makes it good is that this one feels honest and real, rather than being trite and contrived.The emotion in this song really pours from Davey’s mouth in the chorus with lines like “Feeling freezes when I know you want me, it’s time to leave you here” Coming from the first three tracks this almost feels like a breath of fresh air before moving on into the three most danceable and almost club friendly songs. While Davey’s voice isn’t perfect in Everybody’s Friends it’s still an upbeat and very fun track and here again you can hear the improvements that Jade has made with programming in the five years since their debut Cex Cells. Even though Davey’s vocals aren’t top notch here, it’s easy to overlook that and focus on the amazing performance Jade does in this one. His loops and beats are so infectious that it’s easy to see yourself letting go out on the dance floor.
Let’s Be Honest and With Your Arms Around You are the two most Depeche Mode-esque songs on the record and they both work extremely well. Let’s Be Honest is by far the BEST track on this record and it deserves that recognition. It’s poppy, fun, and extremely catchy and it will most certainly become an instant classic and a fan favorite. The verses in this song are a nice build into the best chorus on the record and I guarantee that after listening to this song you’ll find yourself singing “Talk, talk, talk about him!” Blaqk Audio will have no problem getting the crowd moving with this song. Everything is wrapped up perfectly. Jade’s amazing work, Davey’s ability to evenly match the exact flow of the music is absolutely perfect. Fans of Depeche Mode will absolutely adore With Your Arms Around You. It’s almost uncanny how well they almost emulate DM in the music. The track starts off with a slow dramatic verse that leads into a high hitting emotional chorus that demands to be sung aloud. It’s a perfect way to end the overall best part of the record.
With that said, there are still some problems with a few of the songs. The weakest tracks on the record are by far Cold War and Faith Healer and it’s almost a challenge to get through each of them respectively. Cold War isn’t an awful song on its own, but when it’s forced to be the opening track, it just doesn’t quite hit the mark. Jade’s work and Davey’s melodies don’t really demand attention and it doesn’t do a very good job at setting the tone for the record. Jade’s loops and beats are all very basic and bland, while Davey’s melodies just fall flat and become somewhat annoying by the time you hit the hook at the end.
Faith Healer is also another song that falls flat on Bright Black Heaven. Jade’s programming here is spot on and he really knows how to attract the audience with the intro. Unfortunately Davey’s melodies are monotonous and the lyrics are a bit cheesy, especially in the awfully bland bridge where he asks the audience “Does he ever speak to you like I do? Does he ever feel the way that I feel?” It almost feels as if there was a disconnect and Davey just isn’t grasping what Jade is doing in this song and it’s a real shame that it turned out this way. There could have been so much more to this song, from the verses to the shallow choruses
These are just the highs and lows of the record, there is of course the other half of the record. This other half isn’t very memorable and while it’s disappointing, it’s not necessarily a horrible thing. The songs are very enjoyable they just don’t really bring anything new or take anything a way from the overall experience from the record. They act as nothing more than simple filler tracks to fill out the shape of the album. The only exception in this list is the very touching track Ill Lit Ships. While, it doesn’t do a good job at tying everything together, it really is the best track on the record to end things. The soft piano makes it almost relaxing to listen to and Davey’s soothing melody really compliments this. The chorus isn’t huge, but it works well with the overall heartbeat of the song and the whispers in the bridge are really fantastic. This is one song where Davey truly shines.
All in all this record is a decent Sophomore album from Blaqk Audio and while it isn’t anywhere near album of the year material it’s still worth listening to. Jade is really and truly the best thing on this record and his growth with programming has really taken Blaqk Audio to new levels. Davey has his hiccups every now and then, but when he gets his groove going he doesn’t let up. 7/10