To start things off, I cannot stand rock operas. I wasn’t weaned on classic rock like The Who or Pink Floyd growing up, so my exposure to epics like Tommy and The Wall was limited. Sure, I knew songs here and there from those albums, but I never had the concentration to make it through an entire rock opera.
Until now, that is.
Fucked Up’s new epic, David Comes To Life, is an obvious frontrunner for album of the year, not just in my opinion (I know I just said Julian Lynch’s Terra could be that album last night), but in the opinion of music critics everywhere. The story of a late-1970s England embroiled in the death of his love is enchanting, and it creates something I can stay interested through the 77-minute duration.
While I do indeed stay interested for the entire duration of the album, there are certain landmark tracks that are worth looking forward to more so than others.
After an instrumental introduction, the album starts off at a blistering pace with “Queen of Hearts,” which features the vocal talents of Cults’ Madeline Follin. “Queen of Hearts” sets up the love story of David and Veronica and really sets the tone for the entire album.
Now, I admit that I have a little trouble following the entire story throughout the album, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the entire thing. “Queen of Hearts” sets the bar for the songs on the rest of the album pretty high, but tracks like “The Other Shoe,” “Serve Me Right” and “A Little Death” meet that bar. My personal favorite track, “Turn The Season,” is an early album highlight that I had trouble staying away from.
While these tracks create the landmarks to navigate the album with, there is still exceptional songwriting on tracks like “Running On Nothing” or “Life In Paper.” Unlike other rock operas that have little interludes scattered throughout the album, David Comes To Life is full-throttle throughout the entire duration. “I Was There” clocks in as the shortest listen at 3:19 while “One More Night” is 5:36, the album’s longest.
This does set up for some listener fatigue, but the story, however vague, keeps the listener coming back for more. I find when I start David Comes To Life at the beginning, I can’t stop listening unless I force myself to stop. For a rock opera and my attention span, I’d say this is awesome.
Check out the album’s website for the complete storyline and pick it up at your local music store.