One word I would use to describe this album? Chilled. When you listen to Night Driver you instantly feel relaxed and calm. The boys, James, Matt and Charlie, have had such a big break since making music together and have grown as individuals. This shines through their mature and sophisticated new album. They have also got better! It feels like the songs are completely their own and they single-handedly crafted this album themselves, utilising every thing they could possibly know how to play a tune on. The result; sounding brilliant.
The physical album is visually beautiful, with the purple shade of a sunset on the cover. Casual photos of the boys sit inside the album booklet which, again, adds to the relaxed feel. The guys really present their love for music in the sense of acting so at peace with what they have created. They are extremely confident and secure with who they are as a band.
One theme that I found very prominent that demonstrates how much these guys have grown into adults is the idea of travelling. The album is called Night Driver after all and quite a few of the songs involve travelling to new places, being away from home and driving. As the boys have been touring and travelling the world for almost all of their lives, they seem to understand exactly how it feels and also how it feels to miss your family. These are very sophisticated and interesting topics to discuss and the messages seem to come from the heart and feels genuine.
I will criticise this album slightly for not quite being as diverse as it could be. Every song follows the outline of a small number of lyrics, and electronic melodies during the chorus. Although, this adds to making you feel relaxed when you listen to the songs as they are not too fast or complex. As someone who has listened to this album commuting to work in my car, it really does make you less tense and stressed. It’s like the boys were high when they were writing this album (but maybe that’s not a bad thing).
Coming Home is the first song on this album and, as I have just mentioned, tackles the idea of travelling away from home and away from your family. The basic message is that there is no where better in the world than your own home, and this is coming from three men who have been to their fair share of different places. The most impactful lyric in this song is “There’s nothing else to see”, and I’m certain that this would resonate with everyone. The tune is very slow and does make you think of your family and the people you love.
Then we have “Night Driver” which is one of the much faster and funkier songs. The lyrics are very interesting, presenting messages of power and control as they describe how the “road belongs to you”. As I said, I listened to this album only when I was driving so it did give me a big confidence boost whenever it came on and it makes you feel completely in control of your life. Charlie pretty much carries this whole tune from start to finish which makes sense as his voice is so strong. It’s also very catchy.
Speaking of catchy – it’s the one and only “On What You’re On” which is definitely one of the best songs on this album. Following the chilled vibe, the song feels so laid back and really romantic as well. Symbolically, the song describes the passion and desire to reach someone and understand them on a personal level. It’s really about connecting with someone mentally but also has the fun, party vibe and it’s also feel-good. The vocals are amazingly good and the saxophone solo is a highlight!
New York is another favourite of mine, and is very similar to Coming Home in the sense of the boys being away from home and wishing someone could be with them. It really captures the feeling of being in love and feeling that nothing else is the same when that special person is not with you. Despite not really describing New York very much in the song, you still picture the bright, busy city when you listen and feel a heart ache of missing someone. The tune is slow and soft and easy to listen to.
My most-played section of the CD continues with Thinking of You which is incredibly catchy. As well as being am amazing love song, it’s also something that you would hear playing in a club. The instruments used throughout this tune really showcases the boy’s talents and it’s also relatable, because we’ve all been in that situation where you just can’t get someone out of your head. The song is so simple and yet perfectly presents romantic feelings.
“Without It” is the first song that tackles a break-up or a struggle in a relationship. Up until now, all of the songs have been quite passionate and romantic, but this is the first song to sound angry, regretful and irritated with love. The main premise is that the recipient of these lyrics should just give up on the relationship if they don’t care and that both people in the relationship would then be “better off”. The boys sound so mature during this song as they state “I’ve tried to love you the best way that I know how” so instead of moaning or trying to change who they are, they have accepted that the relationship won’t work and things would be better without it. It’s definitely a breathtaking and interesting idea.
The next song is not a memorable one for me. “One of A Kind” presents that amazing feeling of love at first sight or that first lovey, passionate period of a relationship. However, I do feel that this song is a bit too fast and catchy therefore kind of ruins the message and makes it less important or romantic which I feel it should be. “I Will Break Your Heart” is fairly catchy and fun, and is a message that you don’t normally ever hear in songs. In the fear that the relationship won’t be long-lasting, the boys decide to make the most of it while they can and it’s got a feeling of pure fun and casual romance.
“Kids with Computers” has a very inspiring message and quite complicated lyrics that must have multiple different interpretations. The digital beats and tunes in the song complements the lyrics in predicting that the future will be mostly virtual and robotic. Although there may be sub-messages in there, I feel that it really hits home that this is what the world will turn into.
The album slows down again for “Easy” which brings in sorrowful messages of wishing for someone who is too difficult to latch onto. The song is very relatable and makes the listener want to scream “I wish it was easy!” because we all know that love is not. The song looks deep into every little detail of the problem which represents when we overthink in a relationship. The best line is “No fun when you’re the only one love drunk when the other’s sober,” because it is so sad and we all know how that feels to love someone and not have them love you back. The harmonies are also brilliant.
“Out of Our Minds” is very fun and fresh and really captures the party vibe. “It’s clear that the weekend means nothing to me” is my favourite lyric and the song doesn’t apologise for having a great time or being out of it. It’s really up-beat and gets you pumped when you listen. It’s also got a great sense of unity with all three boys screaming “We’re out of our minds” which shows their strong friendship.
The last song on the album is titled “Those Days Are Gone” and is a weird mixture of slow and fast, sorrowful as well as uplifting, as the song tells the story of not wanting to let go of someone or their memories. Despite the days being gone, the boys are not giving up on holding onto them. It’s fitting that this is the climax to the album as, despite the meaning of the song probably being based on a romantic relationship, it’s nice to think that the boys are referencing their friendship and reunion.
And that’s it! If you’re thinking of buying this album, I will say that it does get quite repetitive which just showcases how much the boys have grown into their own style. This collection of songs is so relaxing and chilled that you can easily fall asleep to the music after a long and stressful day. Enjoy it!