La Dispute’s 4th LP presents an emotional journey, from grief to acceptance.
If you haven’t heard of La Dispute before, their music can be easily summed up in two words: pure poetry. In fact, front man and lead vocalist, Jordan Dreyer, was a former poet before starting Michigan-based post-hardcore group: La Dispute. Now with the release of their fourth studio album, “Panorama”, La Dispute takes a more mature approach to their sound while, providing lyrics that once again tows the line between poetry and music.
The album starts quietly enough on the first track which is just an interlude into “Fulton Street I”, there is a mourning happening and halfway in, Jordan’s vocals wail and catch the listener like a deer in the headlights. A surprisingly powerful way to begin an album and this power subsists throughout, in both a quiet and loud demeanor. Perhaps my favorite track would have to be “Rhodonite and Grief”, which truly showcases La Dispute’s ability to write songs which focus on specific subject matter, this being of the loss of one’s child at a young age. While also feeling emotionally universal to the listener, as if it is covering many topics. It wanes between sympathy for the living and grief over who has been lost and how one must find ways, usually through the release of drug use to cope with your new reality. Every track that follows after bleeds with La Dispute’s unbridled rage, taking many cues from their second LP, Wilderness, Jordan Dreyer showcases his vocal prowess on “Footsteps at The Pond”. This track almost acts as the intro to the final chapter which is Panorama all building to the climax of the album, “You Ascendant”, an unsurprisingly introspective track. While this band has always been about unleashing rage in the face of grief, loss, and betrayal, we see them finally pull back the curtain and finish with a track that is the antithesis of quiet acceptance. The lyrics showcase how even after our loved one’s pass, we still find ways to remember them. As Dreyer puts it “I will rend you from those dreams. Release the flowers in the street. Burn the Monuments in Plywood and ascend them to be everything you need.” Panorama is not just an album but a journey through the stages of loss. It has taught me that the greatest way to honor the dead is to keep living on, not slowing down because it hurts too much. We need to release the burden of grief like the flowers into the street, burn the effigies which comprise our memories, and ascend towards acceptance.
Standout Tracks: Fulton Street I, Rhodonite & Grief, You Ascendant