The album opens up with "Rise Up", appropriately the first single to be released off the album, a song about coming into your own and standing up for what you believe in. Not letting anything stand in your way in your own personal growth and development. We spend so much time worried about all the small stuff that we get bogged down in our daily lives. We hold ourselves accountable and to do that we have to stand on our own two feet.
The synth on "The Fire" was totally unexpected and it grabbed me immediately. The chorus is already amazing and super catchy, but throwing that hardcore synth vibe under Grant's vocals added that It factor that makes this song soar. It's smart decisions like this that show maturity in choices and production. And then at the end of the track, there's a part where they strip everything back to just Grant and a guitar. This small quiet moment was incredibly smart. It's like a palate cleanser. It gets you ready for the song to wind up.
The synth carries over on "Go" and I'm hooked again. His voice is so honest. It's clean and it's strong. There's no clean up in post and it doesn't sound trampled on. The chorus and hook are fantastic. It's a song that so many people can relate to. Being stuck not knowing where you stand, getting mixed signals. The dreaded Friendzone. We've all been there and you do want that release. You want to just be let go.
When the title track, "Silent War" comes up in the line up, you're ready for something a little slower; a little stripped down. It's a bit beaten up and put through the ringer. It's ready to just sit down and take a breather because of all the emotion that's not been said. It's heartfelt and it's a bit heartbroken. It's vulnerable and ready for a resolution.
It seems that Grant has been through it. It's not necessarily the tracks that are a bit melancholy, it's Grant too. "Another Home" sums up what it feels like to be on the left behind end of it all. When things are done and there's no reparation to what we had. You've made your mind up to leave, so let's just be done with it. If our home isn't good enough for you then you're free to go. It's not a pity party song though, it's the realization that what was good is gone and the only way forward is through.
And what a wonderful segue into "Desire", you just have to push through. Understanding what your fellow man has experienced and offering that bit of knowledge that while everything that's happening sucks right now, it's not always. You may feel at a loss or you may feel totally overwhelmed with your circumstances, but you have everything you need to accomplish your dreams. You just have to believe in yourself to make it come true.
These songs are written from such a place of hope that even though the subject matter is a bit on the heavy side, they still have that silver lining. That dream that things are going to get better.
"Step By Step" is a cautionary tale about how we interact with one another and the path of destruction we are capable of leaving in our wake. But more than that, it's more about self redemption and how we stand up for ourselves and just say no. We aren't going to let the conditions of our happiness be dictated by someone else.
Seeing ourselves through the eyes of others and being the best version of who we can be are at the heart of "Better Man". It's got an incredible pop sensibility to it that makes it perfect for radio play. It's an exceptionally hopeful song that is an brilliant follow up to "Step By Step". It leans on the lessons we've learned and pushes us forward in our growth.
When it feels like we are the only ones fighting the good fight, it's easy to think that "The World's Against Us", and that's the theme of the next track. This sounds similar to a OneRepublic track (I've compared Grant to Ryan Tedder before and I think that's an amazing thing) so I could totally see this making huge waves on the radio.
"The Pond" isn't necessarily a sad, going away song because of the innate hope built into it. There's a bit of a silver lining wrapped around this track. It's saying goodbye for now but not forever.
When life gets in the way and so much comes between us it's easy for two people to become "Strangers". We all get caught up in our own lives and end up somewhere other than where we planned. We look around at where we are and who we've walked away from and it's really hard to get it all back.
As we come to the end of the album, we are treated with an amazing acoustic performance of "Ain't It Like A Woman". We've been through it. We've been heartbroken and we've been redeemed and now we're hopeful about the near future but standing in the way is the fantastic frustration of never really knowing where you stand. If Grant with full production is amazing, then stripped down, Grant with a guitar is even better. It's solid and it's soulful. It's a fantastic way to walk away from this album.
This man has a bright and brilliant future ahead of him. He's got an incredible voice and he's made very intelligent decisions regarding his career up to this point. His videos are fantastic and he knows who he is and who his demographic is. If he keeps this up, there's no stopping him. And I for one and glad that the universe decided to have me hang out at Mafiaoza's and get to meet him in person. It's funny how it all seems to work that way.
"Silent War" releases on May 6 on major online retailers. Make sure you get your copy because it's going to be worth it.
Grant Terry on the Web
Band Camp: http://grantterry.bandcamp.com/releases