By Kya Brogdon | 29 September, 2023
About a year ago, I sat down at my laptop to write my first article for The News Stan(d) - a review of The Rose’s first album post-enlistment titled Heal. Now, just a few weeks shy of Heal’s first anniversary, The Rose released their second album, Dual, and I am once again at my laptop ready to talk about how much I love this band and their music. The motif throughout the entire album is finding balance in life. Creating the message of “dual,” the album is composed of two different themes - “dawn” and “dusk” - and the tracks explore the journey of combating insecurities and celebrating life all at the same time.
After teasing it at festivals and on social media, we finally got to hear the studio version of “Back To Me” as a pre-release in July. I knew this song was going to be a hit based solely on the teasers, but hearing it in its recorded version just solidified my thoughts. I have always been obsessed with the vocal fry in lead singer Woosung’s voice, and “Back To Me” only furthered my love of his vocal tone. Opening the song with the chorus of the track backed with only his guitar, Woosung sings; “I could make you mad, I could make you scream / I could make you cry, I could make you leave / I could make you hate me for everything / But I can't make you come back to me.” Listeners are immediately keyed into the message of the song and then hooked by the melody as the rest of the members join in on their instruments to bring us into the first verse. While this song is actually pretty sad when you read the lyrics - “You gave me all that I could take / Yeah, I took it all for granted” and “If anything I know, it's how to ruin a happy ending” stick out to me in particular - the upbeat instrumental doesn’t let you dwell on the sad feelings. “Back To Me” is a heartbreak anthem that everyone can scream at the top of their lungs whether you’re in the car or front row at a The Rose concert.
An upbeat, soft EDM style track, the b-side “Lifeline” talks about using The Rose and their music as just that - a lifeline. In the chorus, they sing “You know, you know, you know, you know / I could be your lifeline / You don't, you don't, you don't, you don't / You don't gotta hurt, baby / If the world is coming down, I won't let you drown / Even if you start to lose your hold, I won't let you go, no / You know, you know, you know, you know / I could be your lifeline,” before falling into a groovy, vocal modulated instrumental break. Although it comes early in the album, I think “Lifeline” could make the perfect closing song for their upcoming tour, or the background track in a tour recap video. The brightness of the music in the background gives happy-nostalgia vibes like you’re looking back on your favorite moments with your favorite people.
Both of these album motifs are used in the lyrics of the track “Eclipse,” another soft EDM-style song that takes listeners on an emotional journey. “Eclipse” is filled with reflective lyrics, both in the verses and the chorus. The first verse contains the lyrics “I am haunted by the things I find / And it creeps on me like a sunrise / And it swallows me into black skies / Back to dusk” and the second verse says “I am haunted by the things I didn't try / And it creeps on me like a moonrise / And it swallows me into blue skies / Back to dawn” - this change up also continues in the chorus, where the first is sung as “Take me to the dark / Take me to the dark / Take me to my sorrows / And the shadows I'll face it / Take me from the dusk” and the second changes up the words to say “Take me from the dark / Take me from the dark / Take mе from my sorrows / And the shadows I'll face it / Take mе to the dawn.” The changing lyrics perfectly encapsulate the title of the song, and the synthesized piano and violin in the instrumental feel like you’re listening to what an eclipse would sound like if it was a song. I can easily see “Eclipse” being the opening song to a tour or a festival show, something soft to start the evening but upbeat enough to get people out of their seats and dancing in the aisles.
Overall, this is an album made to be heard live. The instrumentals throughout all of the songs fit so perfectly for a live setting, and it’s so easy to picture each of them being performed in front of an audience. I was already excited about seeing The Rose again this coming November, but now I’m looking forward to it even more knowing that I can experience these songs at their peak level.