Album Review: Walk the Moon – What If Nothing

‘What If Nothing’ is Really Something

by Kirsten Robertson

Walk The Moon burst back onto the music scene with their single One Foot, with catchy lyrics and beats that echoed the success of Shut Up And Dance. The buoyant music video was a true spectacle as the band danced across the desert under a solar eclipse. It was an impressive teaser of what to expect of the new album.

At first, I wasn’t sure if the new album lived up to the punchy single; One Foot. I think the majority of the album is impressive, but a few lacklustre songs create an inconsistent feel to the album. The band still delivers introspective lyrics and innovative music styles (as they have done throughout their career) but some tracks slightly lack the energy we have seen before.

This is most likely due to the nature of the band’s hiatus between Talking is Hard (2015) and now. The lead singer – Nick Petricca’s – lost his father after a battle with Alzheimer’s. The band therefore took a subdued break as Petricca spent time with his family. Kamikaze delves into the Petricca’s state in mind following his father’s death, and the confusion as he tried to process these emotions. Furthermore, Petricca also went through a breakup with a long term girlfriend, and this is a major theme of the album. The songwriting talent of Petricca is showcased throughout the album, as we get an insight into the rollercoaster of emotions he’s been experiencing in the last few years.

The album’s opener Press Restart immediately lets us know the band is unabashedly departing from the Shut up and Dance era. The robotic, electronic sound contrasts with the shining emotion of the lyrics. Sound of Awakening is very similar. I have to say in the overall listening experience, I did think these two songs took away from the intensity of the rest of the album.

From the slow and whimsical Press Restart comes the edgy Headphones, abundant with expletives and passionate, angry lyrics. Walk The Moon thrive on live performances, and I could already envision how brilliant this song would be live next year. (Walk The Moon come to Glasgow in April 2018)

Surrender was my favourite song on the album. The pain of a breakup, of missing something despite knowing it wasn’t meant to be, is shown through the emotion in Petricca’s voice. The tone shifts seem like we’re following along with his train of thoughts as he pieces together how he truly feels. Whilst specifically addressing personal aspects of his own life, he still makes his lyrics relatable and poignant to each individual listener.

Whilst the album is a clear departure from their previous work, In my Mind and Lost In The Wild echo the poppy style of Shut Up and Dance, so hopefully this album will get the success it deserves. The album’s sixth song: All That I Want highlights how hard it is to truly know our true selves, despite how hard we try. The whole album is a fantastic journey of Petricca’s introspection that we as the listener are very fortunate to be along for the ride for and learn from.

To listen to Air3 Station Manager Kieran Daly’s Interview with Walk the Moon in 2016, click here.

Thoughts? Opinions? Stipulations?