The cover and the name of the album reminded me of Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'. So I'm curious what 'Transformation' from 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' is all about. Let's go together on a search for clues about the content of the current album.
An album with Kafka concept?
'If I Stay' is a very atmospheric intro with slow lyrics that are recited like a poem. The tension builds up slowly but permanently. In lyric lines like "too many words unheard" or "when I fall asleep will I find what I need" I already discover the first hints of Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'. As a song, the track is mediocre, but as an intro for a concept it is brilliant.
The first thing I loved about 'Walk Away' was the rich and crisp beat. It hooked me right away, especially because the song is not technically overloaded. You are able to locate every single instrument and you're right in time and mood with the song's beat. Lyrically the song deals with a well-known topic about self-doubt in a relationship, whether justified or unjustified is left open.
The song 'Transformind' has to accept a few comparisons. The basic beat definitely carries DNA traces of the typical 'VNV Nation' sound. That lifts my mood enormously. Definitely the first verse is a clear hint, that 'The Metamorphosis' by Kafka, was the mental godfather in the production of this album. Consciously or unconsciously however remains open.
Moving forth and back
there's no direction […]
Up and down
out of balance, and I'm falling Lyrics from 'Transformind' by X‑Marks The Pedwalk
'Talking' is a fantastic Synth Pop song without squiggles or hard edges. This means that the song is catchy right from the start and you feel comfortable with the sound as a Synth Pop fan. Simple and above all very easy to dance to, such a track is a must-have on every good album of this genre. Thumbs up!
The perfect DNA mix for transformation
A relatively fast beat, which reminds me of 'Project Pitchfork', heralds the track 'Voodoo Love'. The synths sound really bold and rich and charge the album with a lot of energy. As the vocals start, I'm suddenly caught up in a soft version of a well-known New Order song. Wow, what a wicked, fantastic mix that 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' created here. When the text line 'The sun and rainfall' in the chorus reminds me of 'Depeche Mode', I am in love with this song. But with all the comparisons the song is very independent and doesn't need to hide behind anything. I think 'Voodoo Love' is the strongest song on the album and I hope for a Single including a music video.
A short paragraph for the two songs 'Waiting' and 'Sunrise'. Both are without doubt above average songs. But somehow they don't really come out of the starting blocks. I can't even pin that on anything specific. Perhaps the dynamics are too flat when you compare them with the other songs. Or maybe it's the feeling that there are some elements missing that make the tracks sound a bit more exciting. Positive to mention is the break in 'Sunrise' which is really clever and well integrated.
'Let Me Go' again rather hits the musical notch that I like very much. Crisp and with a lot of punch from the speakers! And here's the recommendation to all DJs: This track is perfect for the dance floor. The melodies stand out beautifully against the bass line and the beat, seem playful and wonderfully harmonious. After 'Voodoo Love' this is my second favourite song on the album 'Transformation'.
In sweet dreams
I no longer run
I stand still and look back
until I wake up Lyrics from 'Let Me Go' by X‑Marks The Pedwalk
Tension until the end
In 'Together Alone' it is lyrically about an intimate relationship that is understood without words, at least that's how I interpret it. You think it is about something completely different, then please write it in the comments below. In terms of sound, 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' does not suffer from any quality flaws here either. Good tempo, crisp beat and heavenly well sung vocals make this song more than suitable for radio play. At this point it should be praised that the album has not one single gap-filler. Perfect!
The album ends with the song 'Shadows', which sounds in a typical dark atmosphere of an 80s Martin Gore ballad. Slowly, threateningly and finely spiked with weird sounding samples that pierce my head like little needles. The melancholy lyrics are performed here as a duet, which brings another nice variety to the album. Modern ballads should sound just as vibrant and profound as 'Shadows' does.
Has the metamorphosis succeeded?
What began for me as a Kafka concept album did not last until the end. Perhaps I simply interpreted too much purely. Nevertheless, 'Transformation' from 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' is once again a fantastic album that is technically on par with its predecessor 'Secrets'. Hats off to this absolutely recommendable Synth Pop album.