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Review: The Driver Era’s X

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Ross and Rocky Lynch of The Driver Era bring soulful funk in their debut album, X. The first project since the Lynch brothers shifted away from the pop-rock family band R5 and rebranded as The Driver Era, X exhibits just how far they have grown musically. Each song subtly showcases Rocky’s production prowess and Ross’ vocal talents in alternative-rock hits. For a band that is all about live performance, this studio album feels like an at-home concert. Below, The London Centrist ranks the album’s 10 tracks. 

10. Giveuwhatuwant

With a killer rhythm, it may seem surprising that this song is last. But listening to this song is like waiting for godot (spoiler, he never arrives), in the form of a change of beat.

9. Natural

Natural has the potential to be great live, but its slightly creepy bridge (“You keep it real, I keep it raw”) is a deal breaker. With some fun beats and grooves, it’s worth a listen but it’s no showstopper. 

8. Welcome to the End of Your Life

This song gets an A+ for innovation. The first time listening to this song is an adventure, as it’s so unlike anything else and its rocky feel is so moving. Unfortunately, though, I don’t really want to listen to it again.

7. Nobody Knows

With a catchy pre-chorus and a great drop into the chorus, the lyrics are the thing holding this song back from being higher on the list. 

6. San Francisco

Featuring Ross reminiscing over a relationship that has since ended, the sad lyrics mix in with a plucking guitar tune with surprising ease. 

5. Scared of Heights

With a raging drum beat, dual vocals and a great synth sound throughout, the only reason this isn’t higher up is the repetition. This may not be your favourite the first time you listen to it so half-way seemed like the right place to rank this song. 

4. Feel You Now

It took me a long time to wrap my head around this song. It’s gradual crescendo makes this song a fascinating and confusing slow-burner. The best part is undoubtedly the silky smooth saxophone; a stroke of genius. 

3. Afterglow

It’s so simple I want to not like it, but I just can’t not. This song just makes you feel good, and it’s an example of their best lyric-writing to date. Probably the most unskippable song, which is why it has to be so high up.

2. Low

Written, produced and sung solely by Rocky, the elder brother nails the production to create a catchy song that you can never get bored of. This would be the song I’d save if I could only keep one. 

1. Preacher Man

With a raw rock-and-roll energy, The Driver Era’s first single and final album track rocks. With immaculate production and soulful vocals that range from raspy tones to all-out screams, the accompanying anarchist music video consolidates this single as the band’s anthem.

Listen to the album on Spotify here.

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