When you think of a band named Smile Smile, you would assume, or at least I assume, that the music is filled with cute lyrics and adorableness. The sophomore effort from Smile Smile, Truth on Tape, is not filled with such lyrics, but ones filled with emotions that come along with interpersonal relationships, love, and heartbreak.
The songs on this album are actually about the two members –Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme. The two married, but when infidelity came into the picture, the relationship crumbled. Of course, writing songs with someone about each other, especially about your pain, is pretty awkward. But it seems to work well –the music, I think, is very good. They don’t rely on heavy instrumentation, which is impressive, especially with Hirunrusme’s smooth vocals that entwines perfectly with Hamilton’s.
Since Stars are known for their love-packed songs, I would say that Smile Smile is a good artist to check out for fans of Stars. They’re less orchestral, but the sentiments in these songs are raw and believable. The resentment is clear, especially with straightforward lines like “I hope it hurts, I hope you cry…this is what you get when you cheat” in the ending track, “Labor of Love.”
Filled with a universal feeling, Smile Smile’s songs are great and they are all honest and songs that everyone has, can, and will relate to. When you know that the person you care about still feels the same way about you, “Beg You To Stay” can be your soundtrack. But, when they’re not a part of your life anymore to your dismay, and the smallest things remind you of them, perhaps “The Attic” will offer you some comfort. “Cancer” is a happier take on the whole “Let’s just be together” sentiment.
Smile Smile look like a uniformed band and after listening to Truth on Tape, I look forward to seeing what Ryan and Jencey have to say about each other in the future. They’re worthy to be given the chance. A-
[mp3] Truth on Tapespan>