I Used to Be a Sparrow is a band out of Sweden, and is made up two members: Dick Pettersson and Andrea Caccese. The duo describes their music as “a compromise between the honest urgency of a garage band and the powerful impact of an arena rock act,” and that they blend the sounds of pop, alternative rock and electro-folk.
Back in October 2012, I reviewed their first album, Luke. The other day, I was sent a link to hear streams for their forthcoming album, You Are an Empty Artist, which will be released on March 15, 2013. I remembered that I had appreciated Luke when I listened to it, so I was definitely interested in checking out what You Are an Empty Artist has to offer.
There are a total of 11 tracks on You Are an Empty Artist, and they are: “Laura,” “Warpaint on Invisible Children,” “Spring Knows Where You Live,” “Skinny Leaves,” “I’ve Got the Feeling We Are Not in Kansas Anymore,” “Cannonball,” “Always The Runner,” “Submarine,” “On / Off,” “Blindfolded,” and “July.” The majority of the songs on the album seem to midtempo tracks, although there a couple of uptempo and slower songs added to the mix.
To me, the standout tracks on You Are an Empty Artist are “Spring Knows Where You Live,” “Cannonball,” and “Blindfolded.” All three of these tracks caught my attention on first listen, and I would consider these tracks to be the most “pop-friendly” songs on the album. I also thought I could hear a bit of a 1960s influence on “Spring Knows Where You Live.”
Overall, I thought that the first half of the album was stronger and flowed together really well as a cohesive unit. Unfortunately, when the listener hits the section of midtempo tracks that includes “Always The Runner,” “Submarine,” and “On / Off,” the album loses some of its strength. When it comes to “Submarine,” it felt to me as if the music was wanting to be uptempo, but was being held back to be a midtempo. By being stuck in that midtempo groove, the song becomes a little monotonous musically.
“Blindfolded” picks the album back up again, and as a listener, this came at just the right time. I have to admit that by the time I finished “On / Off,” I was starting to lose interest in the album, so “Blindfolded” was able to help me get back into the album. After this, the last song is “July,” which slows the album back down; however, the sound of “July” works perfectly as a closing song for an album.
Overall, I thought that You Are an Empty Artist was a decent album, although I didn’t think it was quite as strong as Luke had been. However, I still think that You Are an Empty Artist is worth checking out if you enjoy songs that combine pop, alternative rock, and electro-folk.