The Spill Canvas – No Really, I'm Fine
Record Label: Sire Records
Release Date: October 2, 2007
Former solo artist, Nick Thomas, has taken his second full band release to a new level. His first solo album, Sunsets and Car Crashes, was followed shortly by the release of a full band album One Fell Swoop, which left listeners begging for more. By living up to the high expectations, Thomas and his fellow band members have surprised listeners yet again by creating the album every Spill Canvas fan has been waiting for.
The sound of No Really, I'm Fine is much like that of One Fell Swoop, with a couple surprises here and there; not only is there a guest vocal appearance by Circa Survive’s Anthony Green, but some signature pop-punk piano playing by Jack’s Mannequin front-man, Andrew McMahon. Lyrically, the album makes listeners fall in love, hate the girl, and fall right back in love.
“Reckless Abandonment” is the album’s opening track and one of the signature Spill Canvas guitar shredding songs. Unlike many of their other songs, the lyrics focus less on emotionally tied issues and, instead, Thomas has written about not worrying about critics and avoiding pleasing everybody.
Two songs from the album, “Appreciation and the Bomb” and “Saved”, are older tracks, rerecorded and remixed. “Appreciation and the Bomb” was formerly an acoustic masterpiece and has been transformed into a full band orchestrated tour de force. “Saved” now features piano from special guest Andrew McMahon. McMahon is well known for his upbeat, catchy piano playing and, with this, adds a little extra to the track.
“Low Fidelity” is one of the strongest tracks of the album. A little different from the regular sound of The Spill Canvas, the song begins as a slow love song and picks up towards the chorus. It evolves into the story of a long distance relationship gone awry, with a powerful chorus adorned with catchy trumpets.
It would not be a Spill Canvas album without a couple love songs; “Connect the Dots”, “One Thing is For Sure”, and “Lullaby” fit the criteria. “Connect the Dots” is a passionate tale with soothing rhythms. “Lullaby” is the only acoustic track and closes the album with nothing more than an adorable love song.
Nick Thomas’ exploration of stripped down, honest lyrics is further proof of his passion for what he does. The lyrics of the album are strong, full of honesty and strikingly vivid images. Although the music sometimes seems to take a backseat to the lyrics, each note is mastered and played beautifully. The guitars are synchronized and the drums are more than enough to make feet tap to the beat. Thomas seems to have done what he intended: leave an impression. No Really, I’m Fine has met and exceeded the expectations of this avid Spill Canvas fan and left many new fans wanting more.
Well written review. Though this record didn't have the same emotion, urgency and fervor that One Fell Swoop has. When I listen to that record I'm blown away by the rhythmic guitars, and the way the emotion vocals and lyrics conformed to the somewhat-complex rhythms which framed the songs.
There were also some things that were just annoying, like the superfluous horn blasts in Low Fidelity, which in my opinion are just contrived. Also, the lyrics aren't remotely close to as good. I cringe every time I hear "I know all your favourite spots and tonight we will connect the dots". I don't know, I was expecting more and they didn't deliver.