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Del Amitri’s “Change Everything” is an Album Made to Be Played in Stadiums

Loud, moody drums conquer all in the memorable masterpiece that is Del Amitri’s Change Everything. Initially released in July 1992, the ‘90s musical essence oozes out of the tracks on the album. This project is what a listener would find as a definition of a made for concert listening experience; every song blows up your speakers and rattles your eardrums in the best way. The pop and soft-rock infused album will go down in music history as groundbreaking.


Part of what makes the first time listening so impactful is how everything blends so effectively. The echoey drums and smooth electric guitar create a larger-than-life atmosphere that lasts throughout the entire project. Del Amitri’s lead vocalist Justin Currie, bold, yet sensual vocal performance that bless the songs guide listeners through this engaging musical story. Individually, these factors all shine and enhance the listening experiences for audiences; when placing the impeccable volume, instrumental accents, and vocal elements together and properly balancing them, the full intentionality and tactfulness of this sonic statue comes into the light.


Change Everything has listeners tag along on a journey where its protagonist, the narrator who sings these songs, does just that. Much of the project, especially the first half is dedicated to exploring the different shades of gray that comes along with heartbreak. There are instances in which Currie (or the character he is playing) is the heartbreaker or betrayer. On the other side, there are songs that show the realities of experiencing one’s own heart being broken. No matter the somber perspective, Del Amitri is willing to be vulnerable in sharing their emotions; every ounce of sadness, anger, displeasure, and the joys of love and growing up that are highlighted in the latter part of the track list. The album’s primary story is the seemingly mundane, grounded, but impactful change overtime of Del Amitri’s views on love and developments that occur in partnerships. Part of the album’s narrative fun is born since listeners get to bear witness to Del Amitri’s confessions of making unwise decisions and to the group taking risks in love and sharing emotion which ultimately benefit them, something that could be comforting to those that are unsure about what direction they want to steer to in their love life.


The album opens boldly with the track “Be My Downfall,” a softer track on an album full of rock-star-style-orchestral symphonies. An acoustic guitar takes center stage and help lead listeners through an honest song about regret, emotional infidelity, and the double-edged sword that is wanting to pursue somebody while knowing that it will inevitably end in heartache. Supporting the acoustic guitar is soft, melodic beating of a drum and interesting country-style musical accents sneaked into the song via harmonica. This gentle, yet emotional soft-rock, pop, and country infused track is a bittersweet ode to emotional affairs and forbidden love that many could sing along to.


 “Just Like A Man,” the second song on the album, leans a little further into the world of rock and also features an electric piano that adds elements of jazz into the piece. Thematically, this track continues down the world of melancholy while adding an even stronger grasp on accountability. The narrator in the song misses his ex-lover, the one he dumped, but knows she is probably exploring her romantic options with other men and is unlikely to return to him. This song, although unique in its sonic identity, has some elements that sound reminiscent of a more low-key Michael Jackson song, such as “The Way You Make Me Feel,” from Jackson’s 1987 album Bad. The lyrics read as vulnerable declaration of heartbreak: “And just like a man he holds you gently/ And just like a man he strokes your hair/ And just like a man I still pretend that I’m/ Immune to the whole affair/ But I wanna die, I wanna cry/ But it’s too late, so I soldier on.


“The First Rule of Love,” is a country-pop song that while blending in with the emotional theme of the majority of the album, stands out in sonically fitting in with the part of a heartbreaking love ballad. Currie’s intimate vocal performance is definitely the standout and steadying force of the track. Acoustic guitar assists Currie in providing a sad atmosphere to this track. The 4-minute track narrates the innocence that one feels when first enters love and how that, overtime, develops into resentment and heartache due to strong feelings and poor communication.


The album takes an emotional shift with “Sometimes I Just Have To Say your Name.” Del Amitri shows their flirty and romantic side with this track. Vocal harmonies bless the chorus, and the electric guitar and drums provide an upbeat bravado to this piece. “And sometimes when I’m blue, I know just what to do/ To keep the blues at bay, you know I only have to say your name,” is sung happily.


Change Everything is a triple threat in memorability: unforgettable music, empowering lyrics, and a phenomenal listening experience. Del Amitri’s skills in balancing the many complexities that build up an inspiring piece of musical work, render the project to be one that should be looked to when trying to understand the depths of ‘90s music. Listeners can hear the effort, care, and passion within every note, every melody, and every second of the project.

Reviewed by Sarah Payne


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