Imagine yourself climbing a mountain. A thick fog covers everything within three feet of you. You reach the summit, looking down at the misty precipice in front of you. Suddenly you hear the distinct sound of angsty spoken word approaching in the distance. Cowering, you brace for impact as Chris Zizzamia headbutts you off the cliff with his terrible poetry. The members of The World is A Beautiful Place & I Am Not Longer Afraid to Die stand in the distance chuckling to themselves and reveling in their own pretentious loserdom.
This is what it feels like to listen to Between Bodies.
The problem with Between Bodies, TWIABP’s newest EP, isn’t the actual music, but rather the out of place and monotonous spoken word added by Chris Zizzamia, a relatively small-time poet. Whoever decided that adding him was a good idea needs to be fired right away.
Zizzamia’s voice drags heavily and lacks the dynamic qualities that make successful and interesting spoken word. Due to the drone of Zizzamia’s voice, it’s possible to listen to the whole album and never distinguish song changes. I find it hard to talk about certain songs, as I find it hard to see differences between them.
The most listenable track off the album is just that—listenable. Barely. The first half of the song “$100 Tip” is an okay track with so-so lyrics but the music behind them is calming and evokes that good kind of sadness. However this is then ruined in the second half of the track by the out of place, horribly mastered drum solo. It drones on and on past the point of being catchy and interesting.
Coming off of the success of their album Whenever, If Ever, Between Bodies is much less atmospheric emo and more a peek into the diary of an eighth grade Scene girl than anything else. The fifteen-member ensemble manages to rally all of their creativity into an empty sounding piece of consumer trash that’s not even that consumable. If their intention in creating an “artsy” album was to draw on tired lyrical themes and leave their music as empty and soulless as possible then they succeeded greatly. It feels as if the members of TWIABP are resigning to making catchy music instead of drawing on life experiences and producing thoughtful tunes as they’ve done in the past. More than anything, Between Bodies seems to be an attempt at a lyrically and musically deep album but falls short and ends up sounding pretentious and unfulfilled.