Album Review: Illusory Walls by The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
Excellent, Based on 4 Critics
Sputnikmusic - 94 Based on rating 4.7/5
The world is a beautiful place, but we have to make it that way.
My first exposure to The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die was over a decade ago and I felt nothing. Crammed into a ***ty Midwestern bar, I saw a mess of emo stalwarts. They were ragged and overly sentimental; vital and genuine, but rough and overzealous. They've existed in countless permutations since then, morphing into something altogether different from the great emo-revival-hope of the early 2010s.
The world is an ugly place and we are constantly afraid to die! Billionaires retreat to mansions and yachts while millions of people toil below the poverty line, overworked and underpaid. Private healthcare insurers and pharmaceutical companies count their profits while patients go bankrupt in overcrowded hospitals or die of preventable disease. The rich enjoy endless comforts while the tired and hungry make impossible choices.
The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die churn their life-affirming grand gestures with beautiful dark hues. And though that's been the Connecticut indie-rock collective's MO for over a decade, the band is resolute in elevating their work to monolithic proportions while paving their own path. Their latest LP, Illusory Walls, is 70-minutes long, and if that's intimating upon first glance, then it shouldn't.
The past few years have been enough to turn the widest-eyed dreamer into a staunchly cynical realist. For The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, the next step is salvaging the wreckage and reconstructing it as a brutalist sculpture. The band--whose five members are split between Philadelphia and rural Connecticut--is best known for bringing a hyper-specific authenticity and uplifting collectivism to the wistful guitar plucks and squeaky singing of the early 2010s emo revival.