We’re Gonna Live Forever is the debut release from Pennsylvania’s Crooner. Part indie and part emo, this album is sparse and moody across its eight tracks. We’re Gonna Live Forever is a very mellow release, and while the band’s simplicity can be a bit of a drag on some of the longer tunes, this debut release has a lot of character. Crooner’s pop sensibility and bit of country twang throughout this album has a vibe like a sad millennial cowboy from the suburbs. That last bit will make sense once you listen to it.
“I Have to Believe There is a Reason” kicks things off. This understated, piano-driven opener doesn’t pack in any twists or turns to speak of, but its slow build and cool melody are enough to keep me interested. Moving on, we get to “Count On You;” there’s that twang I mentioned earlier. Reverbed to all hell and rich with bleak sounding vocal harmonies, this tune is a big step toward the gloomy side of indie-pop. I wouldn’t say there’s a clear standout on We’re Gonna Live Forever, but, if I had to pick a favourite, I’d go with “Birds Will Sing.” A sad yacht rock tune of sorts, this song has some of the more interesting melodies on the whole album. The minimalist, possibly electronic, percussion and simplistic piano chords leave enough room for the near-falsetto vocals to shine through without letting the song become boring.
Speaking of boring (killer segue), Crooner’s laid-back writing style has its downfalls. The most obvious one, at least for me, is “Redbreast.” The song starts off decent. Spacey guitars and a mellow banjo progression akin to Matt Mays and El Torpedo are good enough for me. “Redbreast” even has one of the better choruses on the album, but I did not need to hear it as many times as I did. I get that Crooner are setting a mood, but I can’t imagine why this song needs to push past the seven-minute mark.
All in all, We’re Gonna Live Forever is a great first outing. Crooner has a cool style and the musicianship to back it up. Sure, the album drags at times. But, the good definitely outweighs the bad.
Written by Justin Bruce
*Edited by Dominic Abate