It's never easy to lose something or someone important to you. Once they're going, one of the hardest things to do is keep yourself in check. That's what Real Friends attempt to do in their new album. Real Friends try to stay strong in Composure, delivering broken anthems and hopeless optimism in hopes of finding themselves.
Real Friends' sound comes straight from the emo rock movement of the mid-2000s, and shows that it's still a sound that doesn't get old. All the same, the message of the record falls right into place with it. Tracks like 'Stand Steady' really set the tone for the album, poetic lyrics and the beaten down, dejected vibe capturing that lost tone. All of the song sounds simply depressed, the chorus sadly chanting, "Watch me try to stand steady / Like a flame in the pouring rain / Looking back on my youth, it's good that I've grown.... Like a bird in a hurricane," the bridge crying "Here I am, bearing every burden... showing every worry to the world," and the song ending with a plea of conviction that begs: "Watch me try." Following tracks 'From The Outside' and 'Smiling On The Surface' channel similar pains, being broken anthems with big instrumentals but hurt lyrics.
Being that the sound of Composure isn't anything new, not many songs really stand out as special on the record sonically. However, it's the message as a whole that sells it. There is even some diversity; while you do have tracks straight out of 2007 like 'Hear What You Want,' you do get a nice blend of softer moments, like in 'Unconditional Love' and the softer 'Ripcord.' The transition between 'Unconditional Love' and title track 'Composure' is certainly a highlight, too. The sound is nostalgic and certainly fills that high school heartbreak soundtrack, but the emotions it inspires will always be relevant in life.
Real Friends try to stay strong in Composure, channeling pain through their lyrics as they try to lift themselves up with their melodies and instrumentals. It's a battle between hope and pain: one that so many people go through. Composure is an attempt to help people win it.
Favorite Track: Stand Steady
Least Favorite Track: Get By
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Composure on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: