Under The Stars: Grayscale’s Nella Vita ReviewDate: September 9, 2019
By: Valentino Petrarca
Grayscale is one of the few modern pop punk bands that took the music world by storm with only one album. Their first album, Adornment, became a staple of the 2010’s pop-punk scene. Their new album, in many ways is a bold and exciting direction for the band. Even if not all elements fully land, this is one of the most unique and powerful albums I’ve heard in a long time.
This album shines the most lyrically. This record should be set as an example of how a band is suppose to mature. The lyrics are the deepest they have ever been with a sense of rawness that I’ve never heard from Grayscale. A lot of the lyrics feel very dark and straight forward. They don’t try to go for the fake poetic lines that most bands do so often. Everything in this album feels real. These are real events, with real stories, about real people. The darkness in the lyrics feels so genuine because it’s apart of the darkness of real life. In this album, Grayscale really proves that they can be a master of storytelling.
The sound and tone of this record is a hit or miss. They try to add pop, synth, and funk elements into the original pop-punk sound. Before I begin to critique some of the elements, I am going to preface my statement by saying I would always rather see a band try to implement something new and not fully land it, than stay stagnant. I will say, the pop elements do land on some tracks like Just Right, In Violet, and YOUNG. Desert Queen combines the elements together in a flawless way where both the guitars and the synth add a great deal to the song’s personality. But on tracks like Baby Blue and Old Friends it sometimes feels jarring. It can feel like the synth elements overpower the rock elements and take away from the lyrical depth at times.
There are many stand out tracks and moments on this album. In Violet was the second single released and is one of if not the best Grayscale song released to date. Just Right has such a catchy chorus and is truly infectious. Twilight has an old Grayscale tone, and is extremely fun. Asbury is a beautiful acoustic song that resonates in a beautiful way. The album also closes out with Tommy’s song, a near perfect ballad. When the album is at it’s best, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Some tracks that let me down are Baby Blue, Old Friends, and In My Arms. While lyrically they are still good songs, the pop musicality is too much for to handle and it takes the listener out of the experience. It doesn’t match the vibe of the record and therefore stands out like a sore thumb.
Overall, Nella Vita is bold album with new elements weaved throughout. Grayscale is not afraid to be courageous and play with their sound in new and exciting ways. The lyrics are phenomenal and the band has proven that they earned their right to be a staple of the Pop-Punk community.
Valetino Petrarca is the Music Assistant for WSOU, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.