Album Review: Gossip by Sleeping With Sirens 3/5; An Intense Political Revolution of Sound


Featuring band members, Kellin Quinn, Gabe Barham, Jack Fowler, Nick Martin & Justin Hills

Alizay Rizvi, Social Media Manager/Circulation Manager

Gossip, Sleeping With Sirens latest album released on September 23rd is an all-out representation of an entirely new sound and completely revolutionary of the band in the essence of their lyrical and melody composition. In the eight years since the band got together, I’ve listened to a vast majority of their albums starting from With Eyes To See & Ears To See, Let’s Cheers To This, Feel and Madness. It’s been great seeing the band change and grow with their music especially when they released Live & Unplugged last year. Alongside their most interesting album ever, If You Were A Movie This Would Be Your Soundtrack EP, the band truly has grown in terms of music and lyrically. However, this album is completely different from anything I’ve ever heard by them before.

Sleeping with Sirens has been on an incredible high with their previous albums of madness, truly dominating warped tour this past summer. Their newest album, Gossip, takes an incredible twist for the band completely separate from their other albums. In BEHIND THE GOSSIP – Gabe Barham, the drummer, talks about how there are a few songs that are “edgy” and how there are a few “old rock songs” for the older fans as well. The album reflects the revolution of Sleeping with Sirens and their growth according to Barham. The drums aren’t “flashy” but they compliment Kellin’s vocals. This is true for a large majority of the songs on the album. However, the guitars are a completely different story.

In BEHIND THE GOSSIP – Jack Fowler, the guitarist, speaks about the different sounds and guitars that were used. They use several different sounds, much of it was using pedals and electronic voices. “You need to make a guitar sound, not like a guitar”, which is why much of Gossip sounds incredibly different than anything that has ever been done by the band before. However, the electronic cover-ups degrade Kellin’s already wide-ranging graceful vocals making the first half of the album sound like they are trying to derail Kellin.

In BEHIND THE GOSSIP – Kellin Quinn speaks about his experience making the album. He references that “The first record is me finding my voice..” This is incredibly controversial considering the fact that most of the album uses electronics and almost autotune like vocals covering Kellin’s actual beautiful voice. Trouble is a perfect example of that, combining tones of electronic guitar, and really covering Kellin’s voice with almost patchy like vocals. Not to mention the lyrics of the song itself speak exclusively about a home life. It revolves entirely around the idea of building yourself a pit.

Empire To Ashes also reflects the controversy, consisting entirely of electronic vibes mixed with an effort at raspier vocals and lazy “woahs”. However, Empire To Ashes definitely reflects a certain state of mind with current events. A rock heavy song full of power and heart the metaphors of the lyrics truly encompasses a large part of our current state. The prominence of the drums and guitar drown Kellin’s voice, making the song less creative than it should have been with the courageousness of the lyrics revolving around it. This is one of the few songs reminiscing to when the band made heavier rock sounds.

Kellin also speaks about how the album is different and how they don’t sound like others. He speaks about how as a starting artists you take bits and pieces of artists you listen to and tend to incorporate that into your music. Kellin truly felt that this album was different and a true representation of their voice. This is also incredibly false as much of the album uses Paramore vibes like on The Chase, and PVRIS-esque guitar like on I Need To Know.

The Chase truly follows Paramore’s Riot in terms of guitar and drum beats, especially in the intro. You can really hear it right away, and Kellin’s voice is truly almost countering Hayley Williams vocals on Riot with songs like Misery Business. However, the song truly speaks Kellin’s mind in the sense of how he feels about the band and the way he won’t let the rush of the music take over, morphing him into some prideful fool that he doesn’t want to be.

I Need To Know truly sounds like that one backyard song, almost bonfire like. While the beat of the drums surrounding Kellin’s voice makes it absolutely magical as if he’s singing in the rain outside your doorstep. However, the guitar can truly be reminiscent of a guitar sequence that PVRIS has come up with, that you can hear in many of their songs. The lyrics are throwbacks to old relationships and the glow surrounding its essence. It is an entire backyard old time reminiscing song of a youth far away.

Cheers feel very Fall Out Boy type in the sense of copying what they did with Save Rock & Roll. Much like Panic At The Disco’s This Is Gospel, it is a cry out to all of the outcasts. However, Kellin does a poor job lyrically, lazily incorporating stereotypical outcasts in the world. Despite its good beat, it’s a disgrace to Kellin’s voice due to all the excessive drum beats and intro to electronic rhapsodies. The electronics of the entire song make it a poor representation of Sleeping With Sirens original rock sound. It feels as though they incorporated drums and guitar simply so it could fit into the category of rock.

One Man Army is an effort to try to get Kellin’s true vocal range out. The lyrics are true to the soul and really interact with the audience. One Man Army truly speaks about chasing dreams and never giving up on yourself and being able to fight for what you believe in. However, very soon into the song, the sound of the guitar and drums surround Kellin’s voice with an awful echo, dumbing down his voice. There are moments in the song, such as in the intro and towards the end just before the chorus, where you truly hear Kellin. Where he’s not being surrounded by an unending beat makes this song relatively good.

Hole In My Heart is a decently good representation of Kellin’s vocals, surrounding with mellow echoes of his voice. They incorporate beats of the drums, almost sounding like the hypnotic beat of the rain. The guitar mixes in well, truly turning it into a remarkably slow step song. You can also hear a bit of what sounds like guitar tunes which make it sound like raindrops throughout the songs. The lyrics are a true representation of wanting to show the world who you really are and finding light in the darkness that surrounds our scars, despite the world’s ever dragging hatred to bind you down. It’s a call out to the audience of anyone who’s been derailed in the world.

Finishing off the album with War, a song that sounds very similar to Imagine Dragon’s Demons. However, Kellin Quinn’s vocals are incredibly prominent and beautifully done. It’s a slow and sad song, lyrically almost dedicated to the wars that have passed, the people lost, and the fall of it all. It is almost an intense testimony to America itself and the feeling of “And are we the land of the free?”. Lyrically intense, the melodies of the guitar really enhance Kellin’s voice, the drums encountering as almost like a war drum kind of beat. It’s a rain time kind of song that is truly an all-encompassing song to the album and a good finale.

The album as a whole is truly an astounding leap for the band, their compilation of songs completely different than anything the band has previously done. Despite the controversies, the overall album isn’t too bad, and it’s a true revolution on their part. As a fan of their music, this album was definitely unexpected and was revolutionary for the band in terms of the melodic rock upbringing. Although different, the album was overall enjoyable and not a complete disappointment. It was definitely the most political the band has ever been with singles like Empire To Ashes, War and perhaps slight lyrical value in Trouble. It’s an intense album to take in overall. Definitely look forward to seeing what more they come up with and how they continue to change their style.

*There are two bonus songs, Broken Mirrors, & My Life that are not currently on Spotify.