Thinkbendy – CHANGE Review: Freshman Charm

The robust landscape of alternative rock is always changing. Electronic music’s domination has opened the floodgate for eclectic innovation. This is where Adam Bendy and Thinkbendy come in with a sound he tries to make all his own. CHANGE is an album that makes an attempt to solidify the sound of Thinkbendy. The complete package is one with smile-inducing high points.

Without a doubt, CHANGE has some great tracks that will leave you with a smile on your face. “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” is a great love song with an upbeat lounge aesthetic whose personality becomes unique when the guitar solo leads you into the meat of the track. “Spark” offers a nice twist with a southern-rock inspired beat supported by a groovy bass which asks the question “What is the difference between innocence and love?” The track closing track “Epiphany” seems to be the heart of the album which brings the eclectic pseudo-vintage rock sound to a head. These tracks feel very complete and well thought out with Thinkbendy’s signature piano dancing with his smooth vocals, while still allowing him to assert his voice when the track calls for it.

These great tracks are unfortunately undermined by ones you will skip. In fact, the first two tracks feel like they belong on a completely different album. The mixing in “Free” and “Change” in particular sound very off. The percussion in “Free” is overpowered by the rest of the instrumentals while the vocals in “Change” seem to suffer from the same problem. Combined with the feel of the songs, slow and dynamic arrangements not heard on the more memorable tracks, kills their appeal. This bleeds into the track “Of One Mind,” an ambitious track with a very cinematic feel. The track is polarizing because CHANGE feels as though it ends on two fronts. One being with the cinematic and experimental “Of One Mind” and then opting for a more traditional style alt-rock track with “Epiphany.” This serves to cheapen the effect of the former, as the latter feels much more at home on this album.

CHANGE suffers from being an obvious freshman album. The memorable tracks will leave you smiling and with a sense of pleasant familiarity. The signature piano of Thinkbendy that is front-and-center here is dynamic and proves to be a fun listen. Adam Bendy brings the personality of the keys to life in many of these tracks which only add to their charm. The slower ballads are undermined by the more upbeat tracks on the album which feel like a better fit here. Overall, while it’s not a bad freshman attempt with some memorable moments, CHANGE is an album only for those looking for something different in alt-rock. If that is indeed your cup of tea, it’ll leave a wonderful taste in your mouth.

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