I’m going to admit something here, something I would never start a review with, but please continue reading because it improves afterwards (I promise). At first listen I didn’t like this album, I know, I know, not the best way to start a review but it’s important to be truthful when asked to give an opinion, but I decided to live with it, let it become part of the surrounding soundtrack as I made dinner, ate dinner, cleaned the dinner plates and settled down to the evening and, without realising it, the album had now become a bit of a loyal friend.
My first instinct was to pass the music off as too familiar, too similar to things that have come before but on repeat playing the clever arrangements and the ease of the musicianship begins to reveal itself. I could harp on about the strong lyrics, the steady rhythms and the nicely paced songs, I could spend a sentence or two describing the fine female backing vocals that add a brightness to the overall sound. I would tell anybody who would care to listen that the violin solos are expertly played and fits the songs on offer, but the truth is, this is a band of musicians who know their jobs, do them well and when it’s put together, it makes a fine offering to chuck through your speakers or headphones.
The music is folky rock with a spattering of celtic and there are standout songs like title track ‘So This is How it Goes’, the powerful and dramatic ‘God’, expertly-arranged ‘Monsters’ with it’s fire-side rhythm and the beautiful ending of ‘Ghost in the Shell’ that not only rounds off the album but makes you wish for a thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth song.
If you prefer mature music that wreaks of experience and song craft, this is it, you’ve come to the right place and you might even love it on the first listen, but then you wouldn’t have anything to dry the dishes too.