By Julia Duggan
Set It Off released their fifth studio album on March 11, and they stayed true to their commitment to being different. The band is known for having every new work produced be different than their previous work, and their newest album, “Elsewhere,” is a drastic change compared to their previous albums.
“Elsewhere” is focused on the band members' insecurities, according to an article by Crucial Rhythm. This is a drastic contrast to their fourth studio album “Midnight,” which focused on a party atmosphere. Looking at the songs on the new album “Elsewhere,” it is clear where the title comes from. While no songs are titled “Elsewhere,” all the song titles clearly depict a desire to have something changed or altered.
When listening on the surface level, “Elsewhere” has pop style songs that would be great for a club or a dance party. However, for those who listen below the surface level, they will find darker themes that most people can easily connect with.
As most bands do nowadays, they release one or two songs early before the rest of the album to tease the album and to get fans excited for the entire album. Set It Off released the songs “Skeleton” and “Projector” as singles prior to the album’s release and both are impactful.
“Skeleton” can have listeners connecting it to their own image of themselves. It is a song about needing someone to come along and fix a broken skeleton that once was whole. But as one listens further into the song, it is clear the skeleton is one’s image or personality that has been broken and the narrator is in need of desperate repair.
“Projector” has a similar theme, claiming that society has an idea of how everyone should behave and project that specific behavior. The song then argues that everyone needs to stop projecting and start questioning everything. Also, the band deserves credit for their creativity in rhyming the words projector, Hannibal Lector, and lecture and making it work exceptionally well.
The rest of the songs each have their own gem of creativity and flavor that the other songs on the album do not have. The amount of precision and detail that went into making this album is just impressive.
One song that listeners can easily relate to the pandemic and present day is the song “Catch a Break.”
The line “same tragedy different day” can easily describe how everyone feels about the pandemic. Or if one wants to connect to more recent events, one can connect this song to Russia waging war on Ukraine. Other lines in the song that listeners can easily connect to are “my luck is a rain cloud, following me around, where is my raincoat, didn’t know I would need it.” These lyrics can speak to how quickly something drastic can happen and how off-guard people are when it happens.
Another song that listeners will enjoy is “The Magic 8.” The title refers to a magic eight ball where shaking it gives a suggestion to a yes or no question. The band members do something creative with this song by painting a visual picture of someone having a little bit of success and suddenly their magic eight ball says something terrible is going to happen. They easily expand upon this to the idea of if fate controls you or if you control fate. Also, the combination of piano and drums in the song gives a foreboding and danceable beat that is irresistible.
The songs on “Elsewhere” will most likely end up on pop fans’ repeating playlists. For anyone who loves darker themes and changing society, they will also find this album enjoyable. This album may not be for everyone, especially if you are tired of hearing the same insecurity themes that artists have been projecting through multiple genres.
Overall, the album was executed successfully, and it keeps with the theme Set It Off has with making everything different in a creative way.