MONEY have created something of a strange beast with Suicide Songs. The three year gap between this and their first album The Shadow Of Heaven has beckoned an explosion from within, making for a grander album with some painfully real undertones. Initially it leaves a major impression, with its epic scope and morbid poetic lamentations; later, however, it begins to show its flaws.
From the ethereal echoing of introductory track I Am The Lord to the sombre build-up of its 8 minute behemoth Night Came, the album relies on a wall of strings and glittering accompaniment. Whether it refuses to relent for its entirety or peaks and dips as in Night Came, the bright and unrelenting sounds play against both the morbid poetic lyricism and strong vocal performance of Jamie Lee.
The initial charge led by I Am The Lord raises expectations significantly high with its folk drum rhythms and flavourful accompaniment; You Look Like A Sad Painting On Both Sides Of The Sky leaves an even better impression, however, with its acoustic style lending itself perfectly to Lee’s pained performance to the point that the string flourishes that close it feeling unnecessary, although welcomed. The similarly minimal title track Suicide Song works especially well as the follow-up and counter to Night Came, with its acoustic guitar and horn accompaniment lasting a fleeting two minutes; perfectly crafted to fit the length, and positioned to maximum effect on the album.
It’s beyond this point, however, that Suicide Songs starts to fall short. Its tracks begin to feel more like echoes of what came before rather than their own entities, whether it’s I’ll Be The Night miming the slower minimal tracks or All My Life bringing the wall of sound forward for what feels like one time too many; the lyrics, however, retain their high quality throughout. In the grand scheme of the album, it feels like a minimal complaint; Suicide Songs is largely a thrilling experience, and one that shows true progression for MONEY after their debut. In the end, however, it’s impossible to ignore the little things that bring down the overall package.