“What makes a great album?” – I was wondering, before I started writing this text. The question came from the fact that I immediately liked The Awesome Welles’ self-titled debut album (released on the 11. August 2014), but couldn’t explain why.
As it often happens in case of doubts, I asked… well, Google and the answer came in shape of The Guardian’s article “School of rock: What makes a great album”, which contains 3 conditions of making a good album: 1. a theme, 2. a cover/colour and 3. how it all hangs together.
Following this description of a perfect album, “The Awesome Welles” LP gains 3/3 points. There isn’t a clear theme and it’s not a concept album, but you can hear the main message and special atmosphere of the record in each song.
The cover artwork is beautiful and mysterious at the same time. It fits the music perfectly. You need to look closer to see what really is there, as with the music – you need a closer listen to discover all the details.
The whole record “The Awesome Welles” really is put together in a great way. The guitars that lead the whole machinery of the songs are sharp and clear. The vocals, a bit edgy, but very melodic, remind me of Interpol, as well as Manic Street Preachers. The variety of sounds is large, each song – remarkable, yet the album creates a coherent whole. There is melancholy, rage and madness in the songs. With the highlights like “Out Of The Woods” and my personal favorites “Undertaker” and “Wisdom”, or the somehow very British-sounding “Factory” and “Writing On The Wall”, The Awesome Welles show that rock music with character still has something to say in the music world.
The Awesome Welles complete The Guardian’s 3 conditions of making a great album. But they additionally complete one more, which in my opinion is the most important one: their music is honest and pure. That is the indescribable element that makes “The Awesome Welles” so special.