As a truly bleak month for popular music progresses, it seems Lewis Capaldi saw Ed Sheeran, his biggest competition from UK-based sadboi balladeers, drop an uninspired album and follow it up with his own. It returns with a title as pretentious as the last one, that of 2019 Divinely uninspired to a hellish point, one of the most excruciatingly painful singers is doing exactly the same thing he did before, when we were strangely forced to listen to the dirges of “Someone You Loved” and “Before You Go” 24 hours a day every time we went out. . Continuing to put 100% of your stats into passion and 0% into actual talent on your player select screen, listening to twelve heartbroken piano ballads, well eleven, and a weird, upbeat one where you adopt the same approach, he only finds this listener wondering how any record label executive could have listened to this guy and given him a microphone. A couple of clever lyrical gems stand out here and there, but for the most part, Lewis Capaldi’s 43 Minutes is as much an audio torture chamber as it is an 80-minute album from the most effortless cloud rapper.
As if the pullers knew they’d have to hit listeners with the one surprise they had in their arsenal all along, single “Forget Me” actually finds Capaldi over some upbeat, upbeat piano and syncopated synth chords. , kicking things. shutdown with no buildup and lyrics in the second like it’s DaBaby. Despite the different instrumental approach, Capaldi of course still chooses to take to the floor with screams that shake to the core. Every time he ventures outside of an unassuming bass and baritone range, his voice is scratchy and scratchy and broken to a truly unbearable degree, and it’s so strange to hear the kind of song you’re not conditioned to hear so emotionally. voice driven. As horrible as it sounds, in a piano ballad, at least there’s a reason to go there. Putting a guy with no idea of funny singing in a standard pop frame feels like when people suggest that normal people should compete in the Olympics. “Wish You The Best” opens with the exact same piano chords as “Someone You Loved,” though of all the songs where Capaldi wants us to feel so sorry no one wants to date him, this might be the most lyrically moving. , as he screams through a chorus about holding back the things he really wants to say to a former teammate in favor of polite well wishes. His tortured “when I said we could be friends, I guess I lied” taunt will still haunt my dreams, though.
For someone with such a distinctive vocal presence, it’s strange that you can clearly hear him speaking in co-writer Ed Sheeran’s voice on “Pointless.” It’s the polite, very British way in which he quickly closes the line: “I take her water when she’s thirsty, she takes me as I am.” Yet despite this incredibly grand romantic gesture from Capaldi, he still can’t seem to attract her, admitting that he wrote this song about finding life meaningless without a partner, not about someone he’d been involved with, but someone he just as till the date. She expresses her creepy attachment by trying to outrun the howler monkeys. “Heavenly Kind of State of Mind” might have the most hilarious, abrupt and jarring swear word of all time, Capaldi saying it so casually and tenderly while berating the devil himself, the only time he should have been emotional. I wasn’t. The title is a very rhythmic thing to say, but Capaldi breathing awkwardly in the middle of his lines because his singing style is literally unsustainable and unhealthy certainly bores things out. The unintentional hilarity continues on the next track, “Have you never been in love before?” as Capaldi chooses to send the entire line “it’s more like a knife to me”, his voice represents a knife to my ears. In truth, however, this one finds him mostly holding back; instead, it’s just a boring, maudlin, melodramatic piano ballad with a nasty narrator. “Love The Hell Out Of You,” which sounds like a threat coming from Capaldi, finds him trying to escape one of his bellows in sweet falsetto, instead staggering all over the place completely out of breath.
Getting to the second half of the album is a Herculean task, and at that point, there isn’t much to say about the songs anymore. All the songs are structured in exactly the same way: following the Imagine Dragons school of whiplash, from quiet to loud. However, it could be done in the funniest way on “Burning”: Instead of letting Capaldi finish the quiet part before the final chorus, we get a total jumpscare that’s completely a cappella. When it comes to pure suffering, the worst offender is “Any Kind of Life”. The chorus is one with a rising melody, and it’s already hitting one of the nastiest, most distorted notes on the album on the second rise of three. There is nothing that can prepare you for the third. The melody of the chorus of “The Pretender” doesn’t even get resolved, as Capaldi delivers some more histrionic lyrics about self-doubt with some awful performances; sometimes, even when it’s in its usual range, it just sounds bad. He can’t skip a fourth or a fifth sometimes without putting some sort of whimpering inflection on it that carries him off the floor with an awkward, breathy tone.
Max Martin himself appears near the end of the queue here, but he can’t quite save it either: “Leave Me Slowly” is certainly well produced, with some muted synth keys and a guitar solo fit for a ’90s slow dance, but even Martin I thought the best thing to do here was to get to a moment where the music cuts out and Capaldi screams. “How This Ends” becomes quite orchestral, which sounds strangely disjointed for a different reason, although this one should make sense: With an instrumental this grand, you expect a vocalist who doesn’t sound like a dying animal. Delivering a double dose of madness as Capaldi harmonizes with himself on the final track, “How I’m Feeling Now” brings things to a merciful end.
Still racking up the number one left to right in the UK, Capaldi’s latest proves he could be better for everyone if he just stayed there. This album did not leave me wracked with the desire to be heaven sent. It just left me broken.
Favorite Songs: Wish You The Best, Leave Me Slowly
Least Favorite Track: Any Kind of Life