Everyone has those records that have the ability to transport them to certain moments in their lives when played. I call these records channel records. Breaking Away, the US debut album from London-based band Being There is a definite channel record.
Breaking Away is 11 tracks of softly scuffed guitars and fuzzy vocals reminiscent of Real Estate. It just oozes nostalgia if you’re into that kind of thing. Lyrically, it tells about nights we took for granted in our teenage years and the potential that new experiences and places could bring. A familiar mix of self-deprication tinged with humor, the lyrics are something we can all relate to, like the opening line of ‘Infinity,’ (“You talk to the owls, you talk to the sky, you hate your stepdad and so do I.”) The record starts off with ‘Punching The Clock’ a song a lot calmer than its title would assume. Sammy Lewis’ vocals glide over the hazy guitars as he tells about day-to-day routines. ‘Back to the Future’ and title track ‘Breaking Away’ go hand in hand perfectly so much so that it’s hard to distinguish one from the other. The singles of the album ‘The Radio’ and ’17’ are two of the more memorable tracks. They are bit more upbeat and have this summery vibe to them -perfect for a mixtape I swear. The album does have some moodier tracks like “Silent Runners” that has a lot of different guitar and vocal textures to it. As well as ‘Over Me’ with a more apparent bass line as Lewis sings, (“It’s late I’ll call you like the song says, I know you know just who you are what you’re supposed to be, don’t break your heart over me.”) Each track is short and sweet except for ‘Silent Runners’ the longest track on the album clocking in at 6.13.
Despite how great of a listen Breaking Away is, it does lack a bit of variety and originality. Each song seems to bleed into the next -which isn’t at all a bad thing, but it is something that could get mundane over time. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table either but for kids who grew up in the new millennium this record could be a close equivalent to what we had in the 90’s. It still is a great record for a road trip, a mix-tape, or even background noise while you work.
Overall this record is hopeful. It carries that feeling like you’ve done all you can in the place you are in. The feeling that everything could be better if you could go somewhere new and start over. Perfect for those who find themselves landlocked but are yearning to break free. If Being There aimed to channel the 90’s with this record than it totally worked. I am looking forward to what they come up with next.