The newest album from former Belmont University rockers COIN, How Will You Know If You Never Try, which was released April 21, continues all the good work the group started on their 2015 self-titled debut.
This is a peppy, catchy, synth-heavy dance album in the body of an indie rocker.
Many Nashvillians should be familiar with at least one of the songs off the album, “Talk Too Much,” which was released almost a year ago and has received some pretty serious airtime on local stations ever since.
That song is a pretty good indicator of what you’re going to get from the rest of the album: it feels like almost every song on the album is tailor-made to be the soundtrack of your alcohol-fueled dance party, er, wedding reception.
Basically, the music is really energetic and a lot of fun.
In fact, while writing this review, I had to take a bit of a dance break before I could continue because you just can’t help but dance.
Lyrically, most of the songs deal with things people of our generation experience in their 20s.
The opening song, “Don’t Cry 2020,” is about dealing with the quarter life crisis that comes as you realize life seems to have sped up out of control. Luckily, instead of complaining and moping, lead singer Chase Lawrence takes the opportunity to reinforce the positive aspects, and tells the listener not to worry, “It's all gonna be alright.”
Other topics covered include the way my generation does relationships, like on “Boyfriend,” which is about not wanting to be the second best option. It’s something anyone who’s ever been the “emotional fluffer,” – to quote a particularly memorable episode of New Girl – can relate to.
“I don’t wanna be your boyfriend when you need a little company/I don’t wanna be your boyfriend when there’s not a another phone to ring,” Lawrence sings.
The album’s second single, “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” a song with a title that might seem like it goes against the soul of the album, is actually about not wanting to go through the same, well, song-and-dance routine with someone. You just want to get down to business and know what’s up.
It’s also the song where Lawrence gets to show off his range, catapulting his voice to the top of the range for the chorus, in a bit of whiney feels, which were apparently recorded as a joke before the group realized it sounded better than anything else they recorded.
The album slows down a bit in the middle, because everyone needs a moment to catch their breath before continuing to dance their hearts away.
The whole thing culminates in “Malibu 1992,” an ode to a failed summer romance that everyone has had in their lives at some point. Tonally it’s the most separate from the rest of the album, with a very stripped-down, ethereal island feel. It makes for a nice palate cleanser, sort of like an after-dinner mint.
This is an album that I would recommend to everyone. There’s a lot of energy and emotion, with most of the songs feeling personal and not at all corporate, which is sometimes an issue with pop.
Plus, I imagine you’ll be hearing many of these songs at upcoming weddings for the next couple of years, so you might as well learn the words now.