Album review: Making A Door Less Open by Car Seat Headrest
Evelina Gaivoronskaia | Staff Writer
In their forty-three-minute album, Making a Door Less Open, Car Seat Headrest incorporates electronic sounds to add a new feel to the well-known sadness of their usual compositions.
The pre-release singles Martin, and Can’t Cool Me Down lack the rough textures that can be heard in other songs from the album, but make up for it through their hopeful feel and nonchalant vocals. Hollywood, a third single released a bit after the two, contrasted its predecessors with vocals switching from monotone singing to violent screaming, conveying a sense of bitter rebellion. Throughout the album, there is a sense of tiredness in the songs which is contrasted by the steady beat and aggressive electronics.
Starting the album are the long, eerie tones of Weightlifters, which slowly bring its listeners to the words of apathy mixed with slight hope for the future that the album opens with. These are followed by the laid-back rhythm and vocals of Can’t Cool Me Down. The laid-back feeling can still be felt in Deadlines (Hostile), but as the track goes on it moves into a territory of anger and sadness, which intensifies in Hollywood. The track’s strong guitar is then replaced by the robotic beat of Hymn – Remix, followed by Martin’s hopeful, almost upbeat melody, contrasted by notes of frustration in the lyrics.
Next, the album plunges back into its electronic textures with Deadlines (Thoughtful), which starts with a 2-minute build-up, EDM-like, followed by a sharp twist that transforms into clearly-sung lyrics supported by a basic beat. As the song continues, the EDM sounds emerge from the melody in contrast with the downcast lyrics.
At a minute and forty-three seconds, What’s With You Lately stands out as not only the shortest but also arguably the saddest song out of the whole album. The simple lyrics are accompanied by a guitar, packing the song full of raw emotion. It is followed by Life Worth Missing, a perfect mix between the soul-tearing sadness and the slightly upbeat hopefulness of the album. The song feels extremely melancholic. The feelings of sorrow and longing for a better life are conveyed as Will Toledo sings about how “My eyes are blurred, the clock is ticking. I’m coming up short in a life worth nothing.” The heavy, almost monotone sounds of There Must Be More Than Blood break the bittersweet sadness of the previous song and replace it with feelings of surrender and acceptance of a bleak and, at times, brutal reality. The closing track — Famous — sounds almost pleading with its repeating lyrics and looping sounds.
The album doesn’t have a theme; however, it’s songs are united by the emotions of sadness, anger, and, in some ways, disappointment, that can be found in nearly every moment. The songs vary from being completely emerged in new, electronic sounds, to being completely free of any of that. Because of the new direction of the sound, some songs felt a bit emotionless, but, on the other hand, others were full of emotion that stuck with its listeners.