Bryce Avary is a man of wonders. For the past 12 years, The Rocket Summer has survived on his passion and dedication while exhausting obstacles and tribulations. Avary, a multi-instrumentalist, does everything from songwriting to producing while maintaining loyalty to himself and his ideals. His optimistic lyrics, cheerful attitude and buoyant rhythms set The Rocket Summer apart. His compilation so far – five studio albums and some EPs – provides evidence of his impact on his medium and shows his inability to “sit down and shut up” on important issues, allowing for the creation of substantial and forceful material. Time has allowed for growth with focus on matured subject matters, and with the release of Life Will Write the Words, his newest album, Avary’s attempted alterations are considered.
One thing I really enjoy about this album is its theme and supportive elements. Avary likes to write about self-improvement and his songs usually serve as inspiration in that particular department. This album is no exception. The opening track, “Run and Don’t Stop,” offers the first hints of personal empowerment, but it’s “Revival” that really focuses on improvement. It starts slowly while employing a simple melody, and alters little until the lyrics commence. However, Avary’s attention to detail is what really turns this song around. His voice and the music never experience collision, while each element experiences a great deal of care. The strongest points of the song receive the strongest melody and heaviest parts to center the focus. His matured voice, along with matured lyrics like “Sounding like a hymn that cuts in your soul like a lifetime/flashing by your brand new eyes,” create an upbeat song with a lot to offer.
A little further into the record, “Soldiers” also stresses the importance of self and strength. It takes on an acoustic identity and remains musically calm. However, the focus is put on the lyrics and the story being told, as Avary expresses “and I’m never gonna miss a beat, because brother I’m a soldier” and shows some insight with “and in the end/the life we lead/it will have made a difference in a world unseen.”
The other ideals implanted throughout this record are typical of Avary. There are songs about experience with love, a yearning for the past, and departure from demons. Nothing is out of the ordinary from other TRS material, but each track offers something better. Even an unusual song like “Scrapbook,” a song I initially disliked, has a nostalgic feel while highlighting the universe’s unordinary actions. Avary does not turn out bad material, and his personality and strong, matured voice carries this album. I can almost guarantee his further successes, with this album being another example of his potential. This man of wonders will certainly continue to inspire and capture an audience.