This sound can immediately be heard on the album’s opener “Heartbeat.” The track uses the well-known formula of a hard-hitting drum beat, sturdy guitar chords, and a strong vocal melody to create an uplifting anthem rock sound; while not the most original track ever, it’s still a very enjoyable listen.
A similar formula can be heard throughout the album, although it seems a bit more obvious toward the first half of the album. While many tracks use a very similar style to “Heartbeat,” for the most part they are different enough to be compelling listens, rather than boring reruns of the same song. One notable tune is “The Fighter,” which comes second on the album. The guitars on this song are a bit different, with a more distinct melody to them that works very well with the “choral”, multi-layered vocals.
Two other notable tracks on the album, “Turn Me On” and “Here We Are,” were interesting in that the guitars were much more varied. The guitar lines in both tracks were bright and rhythmic, a stark contrast to the sturdy foundation of “Heartbeat.” In fact, “Turn Me On” and “Here We Are” felt reminiscent of U2, with their great use of textured guitars.
While most of Scars & Stories is dominated by arena-rock tracks, there are a few slower, more introspective pieces to change up the rhythm a bit. “I Can Barely Say” and the album closer “Be Still” are both quieter, piano-driven songs. “Be Still” was an almost-lullaby that ended the album in a very peaceful manner.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Scars & Stories to anyone with an ear for uplifting music. The album has just the right combination of parts to make a memorable listen.
My Rating: 8/10