American Opera this week release their new album this week Small Victories through Spartan Records. After eight years of nonstop touring, singer-songwriter John Bee found himself alone and It was during these long months, with a handful of newly-inspired songs, that American Opera was born and that inspiration continues here.
Though heavily focused on acoustic melodies, this album is certainly not a slow paced thing, this album bursts with sounds and energy, yes, it’s kept simple, but that’s not a bad thing as these songs are delivered with punchy drum beats and guitar work that emphasises the lyricism, those choruses coming in with the perfect sound particularly on tracks such as Sailor’s Song.
The lyricism is no cheer chant, but it is honest and raw, tracks such as Monsters Amongst Men are certainly evidence of this. The chorus is catching, but the words stick in the back of your throat with the honesty of the words and that is an incredibly rare quality, making this an album that is difficult to forget. That feeling continues on tracks such as Michael where that glimpse of reality lyrically is so intense.
A record of hope and some despair, Small Victories is the perfect title for this album. Bee brings together an emotional rollercoaster of songs that showcases his lyrical skill but also just how excellent he is at making melodies, the expertise just shines on this record. Tracks such as Sidewalks with the addition of female vocals work perfectly, but tracks such as Sailor’s Song and Jack Pine particularly stand out to me. Maybe one of my new favourite records of 2017 here.