When Nothing More came out with their album The Stories We Tell Ourselves last September, my initial listen didn’t necessarily impress me. There were some decent songs on the album, but I lazily listened through without going too far in-depth. But when the 2018 Grammy nominations came out and I saw that Nothing More had three nominations, I thought perhaps I should give a full dive into the album and see if there was anything I was missing. And, oh my God, I was missing a lot.
The first thing that jumps out to me on this album is the amount of emotion that frontman Jonny Hawkins puts into every song. And when I say that, I don’t think I can give Hawkins the proper amount of credit: he puts every ounce of energy and heart into every single song. "Let ‘em Burn" is filled with intensity and fire, and is the perfect moshpit anthem; "Still in Love" is a perfect ballad song about the painful reflection on a dead relationship; ‘Just Say When’ is a beautifully-crafted acoustic song, which is a rarity for the band. The range that Hawkins’ voice reaches throughout this album is not only impressive, but makes him one of the most talented vocalists in modern rock.
The one song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it is "FadeIn/FadeOut." The bookend of the album tells the story of a father on his deathbed as he gives advice to his son one last time. The last lyric of the six-minute song seems to resonate the most, as the dying father tells his son “In the night you’ll dream of so many things/ But find the ones that bring you life, and you’ll find me”. The touching last line, as it echoes and evolves into shouts, is one of my favorite song lyrics of all-time. It is truly that magnificent.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves grew on me very quickly, which led it to be the only CD I asked for for Christmas this year (and coming from a guy who collects CDs, that’s saying something). If I could recommend any one album for people to listen to from this past year, The Stories We Tell Ourselves would definitely be it. It has everything that a music fan, not just a rock fan, would like: the radio-friendly songs ("Go To War" and "Who We Are"), ballads ("Just Say When" and "Still in Love"), songs that every rock fan can bang their head to ("Funny Little Creatures" and "Ripping Me Apart"), and even a song that tests the waters of electronic music ("Don’t Stop"). The album is so diverse, with each song sounding completely different from the one before it. This album is by far my favorite album of 2017 and deserves way more than the 3 Grammy nominations it got.
Top 3 Songs: Rating: 8.8 / 10
1.) Who We Are
2.) Funny Little Creatures