When I first played this album I felt like I was taken away to some organic setting where music and emotion ran wild – while not denying the darker and more painful sides that sometimes accompany the feeling of love.
Yes, this may seem a little dramatic – it’s just an album, right? Wrong. This is music as an artform, brilliantly pieced together to paint the canvases of our ears with lush soundscapes and haunting lyrics.
Overall, the album contains an eclectic variety of styles and genres, and this music cannot be confined to the limits of any one genre. It transcends any label, any stereotype – onto its own unique, yet beautiful plateau of sound.
Song by song review:
1. Here: 4/5 – A remarkably powerful opener to the album. It begins with a very beautiful classical intro that abruptly runs into industrial rythyms and electric guitars. Not the strongest track lyrically, but made to get your attention – and it succeeds in doing that.
2. Touched: 5/5 – Possibly Vast’s most well known song. You may have heard it in the trailer to the not-to-far in the past movie, “The Beach.” Anyways, this song has a very personal and earthy feel to it due to the almost conversational style vocals and soft guitar.
3. Dirty Hole: 4/5 – One of the darkest songs on the album. Begins with a powerful organ that transports you to some dark, old church sitting alone in the first pew. The lyrics are a sort of warning against predatorial lovers, and the music plays a very fitting ominous-sounding tune to match.
4. Pretty When You Cry: 4/5 – Another one of Vast’s more well-known songs. The piano combined with a strong bass line make this song amazing. The lyrics are an intelligent satire on people who take pleasure in hurting others who have trusted and or loved them.
5. I’m Dying: 4/5 – This feels like one of the most honest songs on the album. It’s displaying a man full of spiritual confusion who states that although he does still believe in God/Jesus – he is searching for something to reassure him. The chants plus the industrial-style guitars and rythym back up the nice vocals and honest lyrics very well.
6. Flames: 5/5 – (Has my vote for one of the best songs of all time – and I am not exaggerating that one bit!) There is no way that I can portray the true beauty of this song on here. It just has to be heard – hopefully by everyone. This song is the perfect combination of peaceful music (thanks to an amazing job playing the strings), breathtakingly emotional and honest lyrics and exceptional vocals. Has the ability to put you in tears and/or lull you to sleep in peace.
7. Temptation: 3.5/5 – Possibly with better placement on the album, I would like this track more, but no track could hold up well following an amazing track like ‘Flames.’ Still, this is a somewhat unique song, and believe parts of it’s structure and sound (not lyrics) are somewhat of a tribute to the Beatles.
8. Three Doors: 3/5 – The low spot of the album for me, but sense there’s only one track that doesn’t blow my mind – it’s acceptable.
9. Niles Edge: 4/5 – An interesting concept in work here. Somewhat of a psychological storytelling in the lyrics combined with the earthy, true sounding vocals – all put to an almost ambient style backdrop of music.
10. Somewhere Else To Be: 3.5/5 – The music is the strongest part of this track here. Nothing against the vocals/lyrics, but the music is just the shining star here – would have made an incredible instrumental track as well.
11. [Untitled]: 4/5 – This song was left off the tracklisting by Amazon for some reason, however, it should not have been. It serves a definite purpose on this album – a nice exit from ‘Somewhere Else to Be’ and turning into an intro for the next, beautiful song, ‘You.’
12. You: 5/5 – I wish I could give both this song and ‘Flames’ rating higher than 5, but I told myself I’d stick to my own rating system. Anyways, this song is just so hard to describe – it was a very good choice to end the album because the listener will have become one with the singer by this point in the album and will be right there alongside him – either in happiness or on the floor in pain. Amazing closing piece combining breathy vocals and soothing electronics. The only thing I can compare it to is the song (not the CD) “And All That Could Have Been” by Nine Inch Nails on their rare EP, ‘Still.’
This album basically takes the listener on a spiritual-type journey of self-discovery as we ride through the waves of emotions that are presented on this cd. It’s a very honest, romantic, and yes sometimes depressing album that represents human life and everything that we as people go through with ourselves and our relationships with friends, family, lovers and even our spirituality. It’s hard to belive that ‘VAST’ is really just the work of only one man: Jon Crosby, and this man deserves a lot of credit for managing to create a very unique style of music.
I think almost anyone should enjoy this album, but particularly fans of: Depeche Mode, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Coldplay, Sarah Mclachlan, A Perfect Circle and many others. Industrial, Rock, Pop, Ambient – whatever you want to call this album – its an amazing collection of music that warrents a listen from everyone.