October 25, 2007

Record Review: The Honorary Title

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When most musical artists transition from the indie scene to the corporate world, they usually lose part of their initial luster. The music becomes poppier, more processed, or the lyrics lose their heartfelt appeal. The Honorary Title is, however, NOT one of these artists. With the release of their second full length album and their debut on a major label, they certainly have not fit the stereotype of other bands that have followed the same path. Scream and Light Up the Sky is as great, if not more so, than their debut, and surely, once you hear them, you’ll never want to turn them off.
Every single song on Scream and Light Up the Sky is worth listening to on repeat for at least a day. The vocals of Jarrod Gorbel are astounding. No words can actually convey what it feels like to hear the depth and range of his melodious voice. His voice is unlike any other; it illustrates a full range of emotions as he bellows out each note. Not only is Gorbel gifted with extraordinary vocals, but he also is The Honorary Title. While he employs different musicians when recording his albums or when going on tour, he otherwise writes all the songs and, thus, is the mastermind behind this amazing music.
In all honesty, it would be hard for me to select any songs that outweigh the others on this album; but, if given that ultimatum, I would have to say that “Even If” is the most profound out of all the songs. Gorbel is accompanied simply by his guitar as he sings about the disheartenment over his father’s abandonment of his family. As you listen to him sing “Don’t you think I’m lonely/ Eager to complete this story/ Confused and haunted with why’d you start over and ignore me” you feel every disappointment, every failed relationship, coincide with the loss of his father.
All the songs Gorbel has ever written have this kind of universal appeal. He writes about love, loss, frustration and hope, with a poetic outlook on it all.
That’s one of the great things about music; its ability to take people to a better place; this album swept me away. The Honorary Title is a reminder of why I love music.
So, while The Honorary Title may not have the reputation of other prestigious indie bands that have crossed over, they certainly don’t lose sight of themselves or why they make music.
This is an album that will get you through your roughest day, remind you of the fact that people are at heart pretty much the same, and that there’s something out there waiting for you, beyond the confines of what you already know. As the title of their album says, it’s time to scream and light up the sky.