Alternative | Indie | R&B
Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music
I recall that the very first project I had reviewed in 2020, doubled as my introduction to Leicester-based alternative R&B group easy life. With their mixtape of that year, titled Junk Food, I was impressed with how colourful yet genuine the whole thing sounded. All things considered, I could definitely see a tonne of exciting potential surrounding the group.
It was through projects like Junk Food, as well as the mixtapes that came before it, that I feel they really succeeded in connecting with listeners through their aesthetic, along with their straightforward lyrics.
In 2021 however, it seems that everything the group had been releasing before, has led up to this very moment, in which easy life release their very first full length album, titled life’s a beach.
With the prospect of easy life releasing their debut album, I was indeed excited to listen to it, and to see the band pour everything they’ve been developing into this debut album. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find much of what I enjoy about easy life on here; almost nothing at all.
Ok, so I’ll try and begin with the positives that I have for life’s a beach; I can definitely appreciate what they were trying to go for, with the balance of warm, summery vibes juxtaposing with the much more mellow contextual side to the project. I also admired how unapologetic and raw the lyrics from lead singer Murray Matravers were, detailing the struggles of a relationship ending, the downward spiral that comes as a result, and suicidal thoughts.
And as far as nice things to say about life’s a beach goes in my mind, that’s just about where it stops unfortunately.
If I was compare life’s a beach to it’s aesthetic inspiration of the seaside, I would say that the most accurate description would be that this album feels like a day-trip to the beach in the midst of torrential rain, only with a very rare few sunny moments in the form of tracks like “skeletons” and “lifeboat”.
What I liked about projects like Junk Food, was the energy that it brought to the table. That being said, it disappoints me gravely to find little to no musical engagement on their debut album. The vast majority of the instrumentals found on life’s a beach felt incredibly unmemorable.
And while I previously mentioned that lead singer Murray Matravers laid his inner demons out to bare, I feel that this admirable quality was crippled by some of the lyrics themselves, which often ranged from cliche, to downright cringeworthy. This aspect, unfortunately, is thrown at the listener at full force in the form of the album’s closing track, which offers a spoken word-type lyrical flow that, for me, was genuinely a challenge to listen to, in all the worst ways.
The fact that I’m actually feeling a sense of relief that I am coming towards the end of this review, reflects just how much of a miss this debut album was for me.
I always stand by the idea that I should never write negative reviews if I wasn’t expecting anything better. But with easy life, and especially with a project as important as their debut album, I definitely was expecting better. In other words, I prefer to say that I only write reviews for disappointing projects, as opposed to bad ones. And in the case of life’s a beach, it may just be the most disappointing projects I’ve come across so far in 2021.
Favourite Tracks: skeletons | lifeboat
Least Favourite Tracks: a message to myself | music to walk home to
Universal Music Operations Ltd.
Enjoyment: 3/10 | Memorability: 2/10 | Atmosphere: 5/10
Uniqueness: 2/10 | Satisfaction: 1/10 | Narrative: 7/10