When the lead singer is a writer that has attempted to write a novel you would expect nothing less than a narrative journey from The Airborne Toxic Event’s sophomore album All At Once. Much like their self titled debut album, each song on All At Once tells a story. Every song will stir an emotion in you – from sad to happy, hopeless to promising, yearning to satisfaction. The album takes the listener through a musical journey of heartbreak and despair to maturing, falling in love and growing old together.
My favorite track on the album is “Half of Something Else” – lead singer Mikal croons “so I think of all the years spent alone/ it’s like you’re searching for something/ to make you feel whole/ like a half of something else/ like you’re half of something else/ just a fraction of yourself“.
“Numb” is another song that you will play over and over again, it evokes memories of heartbreak that everyone has felt in their lifetime.
“I don’t know where I am/ I don’t know what I’ve done/ I just go over it, over it and again and again and again/ I can’t sleep at night/ I can’t breathe/ But If I drink tonight I’ll get you off my mind/ And the ever present pit I feel/ I’m turning on some spinning wheel/ Of faces and the scenes I see/ And none of it seems real to me/ Just the bleary haze of the morning still to come/ I just want to be numb”
“The Kids Are Ready to Die” is a coming of age track that sounds strongly influenced by Bruce Springsteen. “Oh but punks like us, we were always receiving instruction/ You could burn our clothes, you could wash out the ink and the dye/ But you can’t look me in the eye and say you don’t feel like a little destruction/ And the kids are lined up on the wall and they’re ready to die”.
Stand out tracks:
- Half of Something Else
- All I Ever Wanted
- The Kids Are Ready to Die