Counting Pennies in the Afterlife, the new album from Colour Me Wednesday, is clever, personable, and not just an enjoyable but also a thought provoking way to spend its length. The band markets itself as political, and against that backdrop, they do a remarkably effective and striking job of conveying their perspective on life. Rather than getting bogged down by vague political jargon, the album is full of striking, personable storytelling that puts a face to the ideas the band stands for.
A case in point would be the track called “Sad Bride,” which asks questions about the societal commitment to – both inside and outside of marriage – weighing women down by what are generally male but are also, in a sense, societal expectations. Thinking about the story of the “sad bride,” who feels as though “dying alone” is the biggest threat that they face in life, leaves you with a no doubt much more effective impetus to “do something” than niceties about the need for “change” would. Rather than focusing on such rhetoric, the band employs intriguing, inviting narratives throughout their newest release that make it far more than just another album of pop tunes thrown together. The band gives off the impression of not at all just trying to put on a show here; their new album is who they are, it feels like, which allows the music to be (at least) a step above the rest.
That trait extends beyond the thematic presentation on the record to the music itself. Musically speaking, the band has that “soul” feeling that has taken so many artists to stardom. Rather than feeling sterilized, their music has a human “spunk” and feeling to it that allows it to stand out as its own. You can see threads to other major ideas in music, but you can’t categorize this record as this or that genre. They’ve transcended that and managed to continue to push music as a whole forward.
The band has made something that, thanks to their unique perspective, stands well on its own and is something to take in at once and then go back and listen to over and over, picking apart the stories that have been told.