Songwriting is difficult. It is a craft with no rules, merely guidelines that, when followed or broken, have little to no bearing on determining the success of a given song. Everyone tries, and everyone fails at least once. With Strange Day’s Face the Change, the songs are often so formulaic that the band’s true potential is overshadowed. But the potential is there nonetheless.
Face the Change consists of nine songs that feel like they were written to appease every aspect of what makes a hit. The lyrics rhyme (to a fault), the guitars are distortion-heavy and loud, and the lyrics are teeming with the writer’s inner pain and difficulties. These are all fine qualities and have caused artists to have success in the past; however, breaking away from the pack and making your own rules is how to really make a name in the business. Eliminating one element or adding another, stronger element could be what these songs are missing to give them a place on the charts.
As a band, Strange Day possesses a tight sound. The music is solid and certainly sounds polished. The lead singer even allows his voice to get almost sweet at times, which provides a nice change and a different addition to the hard rock feel of the album. The weakness in the songwriting lies in the rhyme scheme, which is overused and sounds forced. For instance, in “45 Pills,” the chorus would sound a lot stronger even just switching to an alternating scheme rather than rhyming every line.
“Coming of the Sun” stands out as one of the album’s strong tracks. It takes a softer approach so the listener can really hear the lyrics which, while they rhyme, have a more natural scheme than some of the earlier songs on the album. Also, this song stands out for the guitar solo. It’s short and simple, but it gives a preview for what is to come on the rest of the album. The last half features solos on every song that get progressively more advanced and interesting, adding a little extra flair. The guitar solos alone make the latter half of the album stronger than the first.
Face the Change isn’t perfect, but it is teeming with potential. With refinement, Strange Day could make it big. For now, they need to work on figuring out who they are as songwriters rather than who they think they should be.
By Valerie Williams