This is one of Anie’s album reviews. I’ve limited myself to one sentence per song.
Who Should Buy This: Although I do really love the music here, I’m not sure that I can feel good about recommending anyone to buy this album. I’d go with buying singles in this case. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Album: I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love
Artist: The Ready Set
Genre: alternative, electronic, indie, pop
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 7/10
Sounds Like: Boys Like Girls, Metro Station, Never Shout Never, The Summer Set
One Sentence Summary: Tropical 80’s-inspired electronic music becomes the background for nonsensical lyrical structure that harkens back to the roots of earlier Ready Set tracks.
Best thing About this Album: The island-electronic dance vibe, and all of the music in general is AMAZING!
One thing I wish was different: I don’t like or listen to music with swear words (personal choice), and unfortunately this album has a few of those. What was particularly irksome/disappointing to me was that there was not just one or two songs with a concentration of cussing. There were several songs with just one swear word each. Usually I just delete any songs I don’t like and move on, but it was very upsetting to me that with one word, my favorite track of the album (“No Love”, if you were wondering) became inaccessible to me. I really wish there was a clean version or radio edits for some of these songs. You really wouldn’t need to change much. It just seems disappointingly unnecessary to throw in a random cuss word to an otherwise amazing song. Again, that’s just a personal lifestyle choice, and because of The Ready Set’s backlog, I knew I was risking that when I preordered this album. You may or may not care about that, but I’m just going to note which songs have more colorful language in them next to the title as I list the tracks. I’ve not let that affect the numerical ratings as those are more technical than emotional for me, so some tracks with high ratings I’ve actually deleted and do not listen to.
Website: The Ready Set
This is a playlist of all of the songs from the album that will automatically play through the whole album. To skip to a particular song, click on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
Before we begin, I really need to get this off my chest. In regards to the three masked projections that appear as back-up “musicians” in many of these videos with Jordan:
Drummer: Bless you! Thanks for understanding how music works.
Keyboard/Guitar: Bless your heart. Thanks for at least kind of trying.
Bass: WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU EVEN DOING??????????????????????????????
1. Disappearing Act* (Opens the song by using deity as an interjection, but it kinda sounds like “gotta love” instead of cursing, so…there’s that.)
The second single of the album, this song does not shy away from its strangeness, and I have to say that it is extremely well-written; “running out of my disillusion” is so genius.
Can’t not talk about: Okay, I know the music video might be weird, but isn’t it weirdly perfect for this song?
2. Being Afraid (One swear word in the second verse. There’s a bit of vocal distortion, but he’s clearly swearing.)
An immediate foreshadowing to track #8 grips you as this song starts, this track containing a more rock vibe and making great utilization of vocal samples and percussion as the lyrics speak of overcoming.
Can’t not talk about: That “we all get carried away” at 2:26 KILLS!
3. Good Enough*
As the first single of the album, this song is so catchy and sad, but also weirdly endearing, enough to have convinced me to preorder the album when it was released in early February.
Can’t not talk about: I am absolutely in love with the wooden-pipe-flute-xylophone-synth-marimba thing in this song. Can island-electronic be a thing?
4. Concrete (Contains the phrase “vodka tonic freakout” in the second verse. This was not that upsetting to me, but I’m just letting you know.)
The lyrics of this song are very Jordan, running the gamut of fast wordplay, quickwit, and this song can’t help but recall a little Gwen-throwback, teaching you how to spell “concrete” much in the way Gwen helped us out with “bananas” which is hilarious, since he’s talking about being in a relationship with someone who is, in fact, bananas.
Can’t not talk about: The crux of this song revolves around the technical stop-and-go rhythmic groove.
5. I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love
Using a super bouncy synth and ethereal snaps to lay the foundation, this song musically feels like an underwater dream as it speaks of intentional delusion, because if he takes a chance on reality, it might not be as great as his dreams.
Can’t not talk about: 🔥🔥🔥Second verse is so hype!🔥🔥🔥
6. Run With Me
Keeping a similar vibe to the opening track, Disappearing Act, huge 80’s drums and airy bright pop-synth define this track musically with a more inspirational message over top about being able to rescue somebody from a bad situation and being the thing that keeps them going.
Can’t not talk about: This track is just musically on fire! I knew this track would be one of my favorites on the album before he even started singing.
7. Should We Go Downtown (Second verse mentions “cigarettes and kissing” and has some additional swearing)
Slowing down a bit and shifting gears emotionally to a sort of despondent attempt at reinvigorating life through superficial tactics, this track is not really my thing although there are some great melodic ideas present.
Can’t not talk about: The one thing I did like about this track was the clever “Chasing Cars ” reference, although I am not certain if it was intentional or not. I think that it was, but in any case, it enhanced the lyrical message for me.
According to Jordan, this song is the second part of the last song where a realization is reached that you are relying too heavily on your coping mechanisms, as this song picks back up a bit musically.
Can’t not talk about: Again: super digging the tropical vibe.
9. No Love (feat Ansley Newman) (Contains one swear word in the second verse)
This song has a fun, kinda slow, reggae vibe underneath it as it speaks of the dangers of the music industry, being aware of your standing, and surrounding yourself with good people who will support you.
Can’t not talk about: Prechor for the win!!!!!!!!!!
My whole website is about positive vibes and promoting music, not tearing it down, so I will say this: while this track is not my favorite, it does have some interesting ideas that play well in the chorus.
Can’t not talk about: If you don’t have anything nice to say…
11. Fire in the Sky
This song is so 80’s it almost makes me believe in time travel, and Jordan’s vocals are slick and soaring as he sings the complimentary opposite on the other side of “Run With Me” about having somebody that helps keep you feeling safe, secure, and grounded; a rock that keeps you stable.
Can’t not talk about: I can’t be the only one getting all these music references, right? Springsteen? Dancing in the Dark? You cannot convince me this song is not in response to that one.
12. See You
This song sort of feels as if it’s come out of nowhere in the context of the rest of the album (at least for me), completely abandoning the previous sound profile and themes, replacing them with a more solemn, open sound and singing from the perspective of a dying man speaking to the person he loves.
Can’t not talk about: “No, we don’t just flicker and fade. With love, nobody’s gone forever. I’ll see you when you get there.” – It was really mean to end the album with this song. Some people are fragile. Not me. You know, people. Other people. I’m not crying.😢
Conclusion: I really love many of the elements of this album in isolation (music being at the forefront of that list), but the compiled package leaves me feeling like I’ve just been given Trail Mix when I asked for M&M’s.
Denotes my favorites
* Denotes songs released as singles
Click here to read through The Ready Set lyrics (including all the songs from this album).