A Life Divided - Echoes

A Life Divided Echoes cover
A Life Divided
AFM Records
A Life Divided are synth rockers that appeared almost twenty years ago and have released albums sporadically, achieving even some chart success. The last time they had put out an album was some five years ago, with “Human”… but the time that has passed has seen them moving in a more electro, slightly goth direction while always being synth focused… but they seem to have discarded a lot of the rockier elements that could be found in their previous efforts.
It’s synthwave in a way that doesn’t require a great deal of the listeners attention, but at the same time doesn’t manage to reach the goals it sets itself.
For instance opener “Hello Emptiness” builds very slowly, but is unable to resolve the grandiose melody is come up with, thus slowly fading away.
“Dry Your Eyes” fares a little better, with its 80s keys and pop vocal, but I could have done without that annoying sample at the beginning. Again the band builds and builds and resolution doesn’t come in an orthodox way, (ie a proper chorus) but with basically restarting the song over.
“Addicted” almost pulls a Eurythmics… but it’s not “that good”.
“Confronted” is a decent slab of electro rock, with an 80s pop character and even decent build and somewhat of a release, although, they seem unable to get to anthemic level choruses like the masters of the style often do.
“Enemy” has a nice beat and more of a dance floor disco middle, that wouldn’t feel out of place in a vintage PSB song.
“Rock‘n’Roll Star” has sampled guitars and sounds like the Per Gessle, part of a Roxette song, but without the Marie parts… actually here the chorus “connects” with the rest of the song… surprisingly.
“Far” is too far steeped into keyboard layers to have true staying power, but it’s no predicament to the album.
“Anybody Out There” tries to get more passionate and anthem and it sort of does so, by zigzagging between a rather industrial riff, keys and a (small stadium) sized pop hook (make that rural basketball court, just to be on the safe side).
“Push” tries to up both the aggression and the electronics and remain swift and danceable… it makes some forays, but doesn’t connect completely – and in reality – the band’s over reliance on such simple arrangement, makes things rather stable and predictable.
“Servant”’s intro almost had me expecting a cover of Journey’s “Seperate Ways”, but it evolves into a melodic mushy territory, from which is doesn’t ever quite recover. Too monotonous and plain.
“The Ordinary” has the sort of “Goosebumps” opening chords, but again it doesn’t turn into a cover, but a mediocre pop mid tempo piece, with a kind of big – but not huge, chorus. It’s ok.
“Circles” has a ton of 80s keys and it might have worked, had it come out back in the day. It’s poppy chorus feels like something Kim Wilde or Dead Or Alive, would have a field day with.
“Forevermore” attempts to really go electro-baroque, and it ends up more bar-rock.
With a sound that could be mistaken for early mid 80s and sounds you’ve heard done before and probably better, I feel that the “echoes” of this album will be fading fairly soon.