With ‘Are You Satifisfied?’ being released in 2015 and the succeeding album ‘Take Control’ released just a year later in 2016, Slaves hadn’t had much of a chance to develop their original sound. However, ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ changes this.
There’s an obvious change between the 2 previous albums and this one. The modern punk sound Slaves adopted has become less prominent, with the duo taking a more calmer approach to the majority of the songs featured.
‘The Lives They Wish They Had’ – the opener – is about how we present our best selves online, and starts off much slower than the first songs of the previous albums, already hinting at the different approach the album has.
Songs such as ‘Magonlia’ (a personal favourite), which is quite literally about the colour Magnolia – ‘Did you know that 65% of UK homes contain at least one Magnolia wall/I bet you didn’t’ (I didn’t), and ‘Photo Opportunity’, later confirm the different vibe this album has, with the songs being more about reality and the music itself being softer as Isaac uses his voice in a different, more relaxed way than what we’re used to.
However, ‘Bugs’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ sound like the songs you’d find on the first 2 albums – they’re heavy and the vocals are Isaac’s usual loud, ‘in your face’ ones – showing that they haven’t completely erased their original sound.
‘Acts of Fear and Love’, the title track, ends the album in a similar fashion to Slaves’ other album closers – it’s loud and the lyrics are repetitive, although the instrumental follows the theme of the album and is again much softer.
Overall, this 9 track, 30-minute-long album perfectly enscapulates the new direction the duo seem to be heading in musically-wise, and it’s definitely in the right one.
Slaves didn’t need to change their sound, and yet they did. They took a risk whilst at it, and it resulted in a progressive album that doesn’t abandon what everyone loves about them. Their old sound is still interwined in this new album, but the new sound flourishes, coming out on top, and proves it was a risk worthwhile.
Listen to the new album here
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