The Color Morale’s latest release “Know Hope” has truly shown itself to be an intense progression from the band’s other albums. One widely criticized attribute of this album is the vocalist’s (Garret Rapp) jump from his growl sounding mid screams, to the Stray from the Path-esque, yelling vocals. Aside from the initial shock, the new style really seems to fit this album well. Not only does it stand out from other bands, but it gives a refreshing look into how the band went about this album.

They really plunged 100% into incorporating the new vocals into this album. The way that the band presents their still hope-filled lyrics has come to be much more of a pleasant surprise than a shocking letdown. Songs like “Saviorself”, “Smoke and Mirrors”, and “Steadfast” fully represent the fitting theme of the album. “Steadfast” shows that the vocalist (Garret Rapp) still has his pop/R&B cleans that fans fell in love with from the first album, while “Saviorself” can solely speak for the rest of the album with its style and structure. “Smoke and Mirrors” proves to fans that the band still has their hardcore edge and love of live energy.

The band recently underwent a few member changes, but they seemed to have pulled through on this album. The style is different, but still falls in line with the other albums. It shows a very positive and promising road to a more defining sound. The few criticisms on this album are that the guitar work and instrument technicality has been reduced in comparison to their previous albums. The band has always stood out with their simpler pop-structured songs, but this album seems to have exaggerated this strategy on the majority of the songs.

One greatly defining aspect of the band’s style has always been their guitar leads. They can be heard on every album (including this one) to date, and although they are not removed on this album, they have been noticeably reduced. Although this is an important part of the band’s sound fans can still looks forward to being immersed in the inspirational lyrics and melodies that have always been distinct in the band’s career.  Their single off this album, “Learned Behavior” received honorable reactions from fans. The song not only encouraged the fact that the band is still driving a message of hope and self-reconstruction; it perfectly represented what fans will come to hear on “Know Hope”.

Overall, this album is their most consistent yet and has proven to be their most popular. The new vocals (as well as the overall altered style of the band) will set the band off in a new and uplifting direction.


- Nic Cheatle