Review by Anastasia Logan
Joy, empowerment and self-acceptance is the message that Oh, Wonder is delivering with their new album No One Else Can Wear Your Crown. Released on February 7, 2020, this ten track album is composed with jazz influences alongside notable pop elements and brought together by intimacy-filled vocals. Leaving the listener immersed in a dynamic, emotional journey.
Opening with “Dust,” this track focuses on how we are all connected and to stay positive even when life does not go according to plan. Shifts from mellow to upbeat follow the emotions that one experiences when trying to make the best of a situation. This composition highlights the vocals making for an easy listening experience that sets the tone for the album. Next is “Happy,” which outlines a life event that many have found themselves in; a breakup. More specifically, the feeling of joy that is found when one has truly moved on. Where the bitterness and hurt melt away, leaving only a positive attitude about what the world has to offer. Even if it is a bit unexpected.
Moving on to “Better Now”. This track is the perfect example of a happy sounding, sad song. One thing that Oh, Wonder did a spectacular job within this album, was keeping an overall lingering positive feeling with the listeners. Even if the song was depicting a negative situation the composition was done in a way that resulted in an overwhelming desire to dance, not sob uncontrollably.
“Hallelujah” is a song of defiance and empowerment. Sending the message to pursue any dream and nothing is impossible, no matter how much someone says a goal is unattainable. Whether that goal is finishing an extensive paper or becoming the next hit alt-pop group, this track will leave everyone believing in their dreams. The layering of vocals is immensely powerful. In turn, creating a dramatic album climax leaving the listeners wanting more.
A major stylistic shift is presented with “In And Out Of Love.” Pop beats are replaced with piano and strings, creating an intimate base to introduce one of the first love songs from the album. Outlining the what if’s that could have been a reality had a true love not been found. By stripping down to a simple instrumentation the emotions within this song can be felt. A beautifully unexpected transition that adds an extra dimension to this album as a whole. “How It Goes” follows suit with stripped down vocals but adds back in slight pop elements, but in a way that is not overpowering.
The last four tracks of the album, “Drunk On You”, “Nothing But You”, “I Wish I Never Met You” and “Nebraska”, alternate between fully pop and intimate instrumentals. This is impactful because it allows for all of the emotions that have been expressed through the entirety of the album to come together in a grand finale. By ending on “Nebraska” there is a focus on reflection. Looking back on where one has been and where one will go in the future. No One Can Wear Your Crown is dynamic, emotional, relatable, joyful and empowering. Oh, Wonder presented an album that can speak to a variety of people and help them see the light within any situation. Life is never easy, that’s part of being human. Keep striving to live the fullest life no matter what is presented. Keep tabs on Oh, Wonder and catch them on their upcoming tour to experience this album in its full glory.
Ask, believe, receive.