Review: Abel - Make It Right [Album]

Review: Abel - Make It Right [Album]

Independent // 'If you can get beyond the depressive outer shell and down to the crux of it all, it's actually a surprisingly beautiful album'

Review   1161 Views
Last Edited by: Ffion Davies September 23rd, 2012.

Abel are four close friends from Poughkeepsie, New York. They released their debut album Lesser Men back in 2010 which gained them a huge following of fans and made waves in the industry. They're now back with their second album Make It Right, produced by Matt Malpass, they've released it independently and it's available to buy now!

A word of warning first off. I wouldn't recommend a listen to Make It Right if you're in a good mood - it'll kill it. Or if you're on the edge of a breakdown - it'll push you off. But if you can get beyond the depressive outer shell and down to the crux of it all, it's actually a surprisingly beautiful album with some seriously tender and touching lyrics, that at parts, left me with a lump in my throat!

Abel are news to me and, being perfectly honest, not my usual brew and with a quick skim of the album I think it's going to be the usual heavy, shouty, incomprehensible guff that I can't relate to whatsoever. Don't judge a book though - let's give it a proper going over.

Well, as soon as the album starts with 'I'll Be Waiting' and 'Fire Walk With Me', I'm agitated. They're the heavy songs, that get really shouty in parts, that I was worried about...uh-oh. But the more I listen, actually they are great songs;, musically Abel show themselves to be more than competent and with smart lyrics to boot...I guess the 'shoutiness' is my issue! It's clear that Abel have a struggle with their religious beliefs that they are yet to iron out, and whilst it's a subject I prefer to steer clear of, it's not thrust in your face and the chanting of “Oh, the devil wants to drag my soul, drag my soul down to the lake of fire” as 'Fire Walk With Me' starts up, could simply just be a great chant that'll have the fans screaming it back, rather than a statement of belief.

WATCH// 'Fire Walk With Me'

'An Ultimatum' continues with the heavy side of their sound, but a wickedly catchy riff drives the song and lead singer Kevin Kneifel's vocals aren't as harsh. Kevin constantly questions his lover as to whether she should leave or not, I'd love to know the answer!

A slower approach now with 'Come Home', ha, actually perhaps this was the answer to 'An Ultimatum'? Either way, it's a declaration of love and giving your life to someone "I saw that ring around His finger, drawing Him back to the one He loves, and I knew that I could be the man that I’ve been running away from".

'Fine Lines', 'Daughter' and 'A Grief Observed' are perhaps three of the most emotionally honest songs I've heard in a long time. Ultimately these tracks are about loss & grief, they're about blame & guilt and they are about sympathy, love & moving on. Put these poignant, honest and, at times, painful lyrics over some roaring guitars & pounding drums and what you have is a brutal onslaught of tenderness disguised in the music.

"Cause I had a vision of my daughter, and she was beautiful like her mother, but she couldn't wait, she couldn’t wait to get out."

WATCH // 'Daughter'

'Fifteen Years' is a story of alcoholism from the point of view of a dying beggar who has found his faith, it's pretty touching and the end line is a harsh reality of our perception and ignorance to the subject.

'Your Heart, Your Soul' is probably my least favourite track on Make It Right. It doesn't do much for me and is instantly forgettable, perhaps after the last few tracks that were an emotional ride, this just falls short of the mark.

Abel close Make It Right with 'Comfort & Truth', with its marching drum line it kind of lulls you into a state of trance. Lyrically they're questioning their beliefs again, but musically it's so strong I happily overlook the lyric content!

I have to say though, that I can't help but compare them to the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Twin Atlantic and even We Are The Ocean. I'm not sure I can find anything that makes Abel really stand out from the likes of these bands and whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing as they're all great bands, it does leave me wondering if Abel are a little late to the horse race now that the others are leaping away and infiltrating our airwaves. If this is the case, it'd be a crying shame, as Abel are seriously talented song-writers with an album of anthemic rock songs!

All in all an amazing effort from the guys; four friends creating brutally honest music for our generation!

Make It Right is out now

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