TRISTN’s new album January instantly grabs the listeners’ attention with the thumping drum beat that kicks off opening number “All Of You” – it’s one of the best openings this reviewer has come across in several months and sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the collection.
“Sky Wide Open” doesn’t pack the same punch, but it’s a toe-tapping track that’s radio friendly and super catchy, so it’s little to no surprise TRISTN chose to release it as a single back in June. “Nothing To Say (Nothin’)” meanwhile is considerably stripped back, both in terms of its lyrical strength and instrumentation; it’s simplistic to the point of being rather boring and runs the risk of being skipped over by those who choose to give it a listen. Next track “Now You Know” keeps things running on the ballad-style route its predecessor started to take the album on, only this time, there’s an emotional intensity to TRISTN’s voice that makes the song haunting enough to linger in the mind long after it’s finished and it’s undoubtedly a highlight of the album.
It’s a shame therefore that “So Suddenly” which follows doesn’t reach the same high standard so by the time “Anywhere But Here” rolls around and the tempo picks up again, it’s a huge relief. The song itself is far from great, but the thumping of guitars and pounding of drums is more than enough to have this reviewer at least smiling again and believing that things are about to vastly improve, which they do thanks to the electro-pop vibe that reverberates throughout “Simple.”
“Last Goodbye” fares even better and looks set to be a fan favourite – imagine scores of hands clapping in unison and voices shouting out the chorus in perfect harmony – and would make a fantastic future release. It’s considerably disappointing therefore to find that TRISTN chose to slow things down again, this time via “Shattered Hearts” – the track alone sends the momentum produced by the two previous tracks on a sharp downhill trajectory, at least until about half-way through when, as the pace and tempo picks up, so does the strength of the song.
Closing number “Remember Me” is another ballad, but one, like “Now You Know”, that hits home emotionally and serves as a reminder to all those who hear it that we only live once and that there is no stronger voice in the world than our own; both actual and internal. From this reviewers’ viewpoint at least – as someone who has undergone some difficult times in recent months – it’s a stunning number that will likely resonate on several levels with people all over the world.
January is released on September 8th.