Creating a consistent mood
Contour is a singer and songwriter who debuted in 2014. Since then they have released three albums, Onwards! being the latest release. This album was released on October 7th, 2022.
The album starts off with the song “From Exile (3rd Ward).” This track serves to introduce the album and it does that very well. From the excellent production and the beat switch at the beginning to Contour’s voice and the layering of it, this track is masterfully constructed. The song then transitions to the track “Trench Prayer.” This song is a dark and introspective track. The minimalist beat and background vocals all serve to set the tone of the track. It highlights Contour’s vocals which fit the beat very well. It also highlights theirf songwriting ability as well. The transition to the next song was also great.
The next song has the same minimal beat as the previous song. It also has the same layered vocals. This combination is a great choice for the mood the song is trying to create. Once again, Contour’s songwriting ability shines on the track. The subsequent track “Hearing Voices” is different from the previous tracks as it has a more prominent beat and the tone is a bit different. One thing that makes this track stand out is the beat switch around halfway through the song. After the beat switch, the layered voice comes back. This track was a great fit in this part of the album as it doesn’t repeat the same structure of the past tracks and switches things up so the album doesn’t get repetitive and boring.
“You’d Do Well to Pack Light” seems more of an interlude rather than a full-fledged song despite its length. It has minimal lyrics and the instrumental is the aspect of it that stands out. It feels like a transition in the album. It seems a bit out of place as a transition however since the song that follows, “Skin Closure” has the same structure and aspects as the previous songs.
By now, the songs seem to get a bit repetitive since they all have the same layered voice style. One different thing about this track though is that the beat, specifically the horns, is more prominent than the first few tracks. The next track, however, goes back to the same minimalist beat as before. There are no layered vocals, however, but by now this style is getting a bit repetitive and should be switched up. One thing that remains great throughout the tracks so far is Contour’s songwriting ability which is still great as well as their vocals.
“Freedom Facade” is an excellent track due to the lyrics which continue to stand out. The piano is also amazing on the track and highlights the instrumental. “Eke No More” is a purely instrumental track and just like “You’ll Do Well to Pack Light” seems like a transition in the album. The next track, “Repossess” has the only feature on the album, from Semiatruth. He matches the energy of the track very well and has the same lyrical and songwriting ability as Contour. It’s a nice switch-up from just Contour’s voice the whole album. He had a great feature that added a lot to the song but also didn’t take away from Contour.
“Crowded Afternoon” doesn’t add much to the album as it’s very similar to a lot of other tracks on the album but it doesn’t take away from it either. The outro track, “At All,” finishes the album with another similar track to previous ones.
Overall, this album was a pretty well-crafted work, although repetitive at times. Contour’s vocals and songwriting ability stood out most of all as did the way the tracks had a very consistent mood throughout the album.