Growth is inevitable in every concept. In order for said concept to progress, it has to undergo critiques, analysis, and microscopic examination in order to determine what needs to be done to improve the overall product. Whether or not the product can be objectively or subjectively viewed is related to the concept itself. When applying the thought process of maturation to music, it can become quite polarizing. Fans of an artist want more music that sounds the same so that they will always have that specific sound they enjoy. If an artist veers too far from that sound, fans get turned off and accuse them of either selling out or straying too far from what they were known for (and good at). Movements was subject to be scrutinized under the thought process of maturation, as their debut album Feel Something was released in 2017, with no music to tide us over outside of a cover of “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. With as much hype as the Orange County four-piece garnered in the past three years, it was a guessing game as to what the sophomore album was going to sound like. With No Good Left to Give, Movements was able to take their sound and evolve into a full realization of what they envisioned their “sound” to be.
“In My Blood” introduces us to the newer sound Movements wants us to hear; one that is a little more somber in nature and leaning towards emo rock to the likes of Citizen. “Skin to Skin”, the second single on the record, continues that sound while retaining some of the sound we heard on their 2017 debut. With sultry lyrics and a powerful chorus, this song quickly became one of my favorites and is a highlight of the record. “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost”, the lead single off of the album, is a darker Movements track; the lyrics about confronting a friend with suicidal tendencies is one of the heavier tracks on NGLTG; the instrumentation mirrors the sentiment with the guitar and piano playing more of an delicate role in the mix and letting vocalist Patrick Miranda’s words take center stage. “Tunnel Vision”, released as the third single, is the most “Movements” song on the record; people longing for screaming will have their fix in this particular track as an anthemic chorus rages through some more fast-paced instrumentals than what we have been given so far.
“Garden Eyes” was a song that seemed like it took heavy influence from Jimmy Eat World; a very emo-rock inspired song took its time throughout the verses and gave yet another memorable chorus (something that Movements songs have always been great at providing). “12 Weeks” was a song that did not have anything in particular that stood out to me, but in the scheme of the record, was a solid enough track to end the powerhouse of the album’s first half. “Living Apology” was an interesting selection for me; this song almost plays as a ballad on NGLTG. A moody soundscape with more emphasis on vocals is nothing different for the band’s modus operandi, but everything playing behind Miranda seems a bit more subdued than the other tracks. “Santiago Peak” also plays into this process a bit: a midpoint on the record that plays as more devastating supplementation to the overall dynamicity of the album.
“Seneca” starts the last third of the record with a more bare-bones approach to the instrumentation. I feel this song is going to get overlooked due to its location on the tracklisting, but it needs to be given some appreciation. “Moonlight Lines” is the only track on the record that has the signature spoken word passages that Movements became reputable for; the song’s harshness hearkens back to the first third of the record, and to an extent, Feel Something’s entire sound. The last two tracks intertwine with each other; “No Good Left to Give” leads into the cathartic, shoegaze-influenced “Love Took the Last of It” to end the record on just as gloomy a note as it started.
Is No Good Left to Give a record that you will appreciate as a Movements fan? I would hope so. The band has taken their previous sound and matured it into a representation as to who they are as people now: dealing with life the best way they can and conveying relatable feelings to us as human beings. As far as the musical progression, this feels like a Movements record in the best way possible; with the amount of emotion that was poured into their follow-up, the spark is still there. The difference between outputs is that NGLTG is a more melancholy expression. That’s what maturation is all about: change.
I give No Good Left to Give by Movements a 10 out of 10, and at this moment, the title of my album of the year.
I recommend listening to the tracks “Skin to Skin”, “Garden Eyes”, and “Seneca”.
- In My Blood
- Skin to Skin
- Don’t Give Up Your Ghost
- Tunnel Vision
- Garden Eyes
- 12 Weeks
- Living Apology
- Santiago Peak
- Moonlight Lines
- No Good Left to Give
- Love Took the Last of It