Album review of Eyes On The Highway by Politiken

Nice shots in their own goal by Saybia

Saybia is caught in the middle between the role as the Danish Coldplay and the futures retro-rock.

“Honesty that’s what it is”
It’s said that honesty holds the longest. But in the artists world it’s not the whole truth. On many ways, honesty is a risky value. Honesty in the meaning to believe in your self is gold worth. But if honesty is identical with showing your messages in banal raw shape instead of make the poetic, you’ve gone wrong.

Honest lyrics in the wrong side of the arts track
This is that has happened for Saybia’s writer, Søren Huus, on the bands new album “Eyes On The Highway”. Here straightforward and honest lyrics such as “people get killed on our behalf/ I can’t cope with that” looks as nice shots in their own goal. On “Eyes On The Highway” is the honesty as a heavy loaded truck driving in the wrong side of the arts lane.

Deliberately or not, it seems that Saybia’s 3rd album applies to a young audience. And who knows, perhaps lines as “It’s not my life that’s obsolete/ It’s youth, my youth” causes echo at a – very – young audience. Who properly also will appreciate the course of the music?

Away from Coldplay
There is a big interest among the young for rock music’s past, and it’s not least here at the 1970’s progrock and the 1980’s more magnificent orchestras, Saybia has found their inspiration this time. Where Saybia in the beginning were mostly inspired by Coldplay, and skillfully draw the attention on, that there was a need and a room for a Danish Coldplay-variant.

The piano-intro followed by a floating guitar riff on the title-track shows, that Coldplay still is an important inspiration, but on “Eyes On The Highway” Saybia tries to new ways and mix the affairs. On “Pretender” the Jeff Buckley-inspiration is to risky to succeed, while on “Godspeed Into The Future” the band quite promising tries with a harder rock-version of them selves. You gladly enjoy the fine craft all the way through, but the more melancholic “A Way Out” falls heavy.

Saybia caught in the middle
“Eyes On The Highway” is a shameless grandiose rock record, which works best because of the arrangements big arm movements. Furthermore it’s encouraging to see Søren Huus (ex. on “Angel”) really enlarge his register and space.

There is a impressing energy over Saybia when they are best, but when the songs miss something, it’s properly also because of the hesitated course and that the melodies not are as strong as they should be. And not even strong enough to drown the honest banalities, which properly are more pleasant than many meaningless lyrics, but not necessary more catchy.

Saybia has their own beauty as Danish answer to Coldplay. Now the time has come, to move on and Saybia is a little caught in the middle. They have chose to look backwards. Who knows, perhaps “young on a old-fashioned way” the new thing now?

Rating

3 out of 6

Author

Kim Skotte (Politikken)

Original Danish version
Sympatiske selvmål fra Saybia

Saybia er fanget midt mellem rollen som Danmarks Coldplay og fremtidens retrorock.

Ærlighed er hvad det er
Ærlighed varer længst, siger man. Men i kunstens verden er det så sandelig en sandhed med modifikationer. For ærlighed er på mange måder en højst risikabel valuta. Ærligheden i betydningen at være tro imod sig selv er guld værd. Men hvis ærlighed er ensbetydende med at stå åbent og ærligt frem med sine budskaber i banal råform frem for at formulere dem poetisk, går man galt i byen.

Ærlige tekster i den forkerte side af kunstens sidebane
Det er i høj grad, hvad der sker for Saybias tekstforfatter, Søren Huss, på gruppens nye album ’Eyes on the Highway’. Her ligner ligefremme, ærlige paroler som »people get killed on our behalf/ I can’t cope with that« sympatiske selvmål. På ’Eyes on the Highway’ er ærligheden som en modkørende tungtlastet truck i den forkerte side af kunstens kørebane.

Bevidst eller ej synes Saybias tredje album at henvende sig til et ungt publikum. Og hvem ved, måske vil linjer som »It’s not my life that’s obsolete/ It’s youth, my youth« vække genklang hos et – meget – ungt publikum. Som måske også vil vide at sætte pris på musikkens kurs?

Væk fra Coldplay
Der er stor interesse blandt de unge for fortidens rockmusik, og det er ikke mindst her hos 1970’ernes progrock og 1980’ernes mere svulstige orkestre, at Saybia synes at have fundet sin inspiration denne gang, hvor Saybia i begyndelsen var utilsløret inspireret af Coldplay og dygtigt gjorde opmærksom på, at der ikke mindst takket være Søren Huss’ smukke vokal og gruppens letflydende sammenspil sagtens kunne være brug for og plads til en dansk Coldplay-variant.

Den klirrende pianointro fulgt op af et svævende guitarriff viser på titelnummeret, at Coldplay stadig er en vigtig inspiration, men Saybia prøver på ’Eyes on the Highway’ at finde nye veje og blande affærerne. På ’Pretender’ er Jeff Buckley-inspirationen for risikabel til at lykkes, mens gruppen på ’Godspeed into the Future’ ganske lovende prøver kræfter med en mere hårdt rockende variant af sig selv. Hele vejen igennem nyder man gerne det fornemme håndværk, men den mere melankolske ’A Way Out’ falder tungt.

Saybia fanget på mellemhånd

’Eyes on the Highway’ er en ublufærdigt pompøs rockplade, der fungerer bedst i kraft af arrangementernes store armbevægelser. I forlængelse heraf er det flere steder opmuntrende at opleve Søren Huss (f.eks. på ’Angel’) virkelig udvide sit register og råderum.

Der er et imponerende schwung over Saybia, når de er bedst, men når sangene rammer mindre rent end tidligere, så skyldes det nok så meget, at kursen er tøvende og melodierne ikke tilstrækkelig stærke. Og slet ikke stærke nok til at overdøve de ærlige banaliteter, som måske nok er mere sympatiske end mange intetsigende lalle-tekster, men ikke nødvendigvis mere velfungerende.

Saybia havde en egen skønhed som Danmarks svar på Coldplay. Nu er tiden rykket videre og Saybia fanget lidt på mellemhånd. De har valgt at se bagud. Hvem ved, måske er ’ung på en gammeldags måde’ det nye nu?

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