After the announcement of a new Enter Shikari record at the beginning of August (2017). The Spark as it is now known has been on my radar for the past 2 months.
Now the time has come to give my review on this beauty of an album. Covering how the album itself made me feel as well as the art work too. Firstly I purchased the album twice I got a non signed copy from a big high street brand (*cough cough* HMV) and a signed copy from the bands store on Music Glue.
The album and booklet art was should I say aesthetic, clean and simplistic. Which is a good thing as it doesn’t give away too much of what you can expect from the album. Past Shikari records have been very over the top and dramatic in it’s art work.
The album itself however I can best describe it as an emergency hug and an emotional roller coaster all at once. In a recent interview for Kerrang magazine, lead vocalist Rou Reynolds revealed the album came about after some turbulent times he had experienced in late 2015 to early 2016. This included a battle with mental health problems like anxiety and insomnia, the end of a long term relationship and his last grandmother passing away. Now personally reading about this, I knew this album was going to be the pick me up I desperately needed. As I too went through a break up in the summer of 2016. Which had subsequently left me in quite a bad way. So I already knew I would relate so much to the subject matter “The Spark” covers. I felt as though Shikari were metaphorically picking me off the ground, giving me a pep talk and helped me find myself again. They say music is the best therapy and boy this album was just that.
This past academic year, as well as trying to move on from my first break up (just to point out after the break up I didn’t go to university)also I didn’t help myself getting a retail job that sucked the energy and motivation out of me. This then affected the things I loved doing in my past time which is radio production, making videos, making podcasts and of course writing on this blog. But now I feel more determined than ever to make my Djing, presenting and journalism dreams a reality. Plus I’ve got a new job that I actually enjoy.
My favourite tracks from the album are Live Outside, Airfield, Rabble Rouser, Undercover Agents and An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces. But the tracks I related to the most were Airfield and An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces. And not gonna lie cried like a baby listening to these here tracks. I also found myself reflecting on my life and thinking about all the things I’d gone through in the last few years. To be honest I surprise myself sometimes with how much I can withstand all sorts of negative situations. End of the day I don’t let a negative experience break me. I let it make me into a stronger person. But recently I’ve been bordering between make and break. But it seems to me I always get let down and hurt by people I truly love and care about and it drives me insane sometimes. So much so I get scared of being too happy and most of all I find it harder and harder to trust people. If this is a siege I’ll wait this out (such a beautiful lyric from An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces).
To conclude I am very overwhelmed and impressed with this new Enter Shikari record. It definitely made me feel so much better and I feel liberated and strong enough to carry on down the path of life wherever it may lead me. Thank you Enter Shikari for producing an absolutely outstanding record and for lifting and strengthening my spirits.
Jennifer Diana Williamson xxx ❤