The photos that adorn the liners of Remember Right Now depict some of Chicago’s metropolis markers. Captured by the reflective eye, these settings – Wicker Park, Lake Shore Drive, somewhere near California Avenue – bask in their stoic disposition. Of long lasting stature, these moments (detailed to their date, time, locale and temperature) best represents those wistful sentiments one tends to find in city lights, snowy lakesides and concrete life. They are seconds in time that have been sojourned eternally, like those we keep in albums they are our attempts to keep hold of these moments; our remembering of right now.
Yet as we often stretch to remember, these albums that embrace our memories find themselves kept on shelves and coffee tables. Nothing more than occasional recollection, our smiles and playful jostles among the leave strewn yards and yawning sidewalks are but resigned to dusty basements and forgotten attics. They sit there, unattended and lifeless until we once again urge to reminisce. Spitalfield’s Remember Right Now is that photo album; spread with reflections and yearnings, it is pensive as it is often forgetful. Certain occasions spark that desire to forever cast it in frame; affecting enough to merit its hanging display on our most convenient of walls, while others will receive nothing more than a glance before it is cast aside to its basement life.
This photogenic spark seized best in their first single, “I Loved the Way She Said L.A.”, a brisk sprawling into pop tuned rock guitar washing and vocal melodrama that is this album’s unrepeated peak. Musically sound, its lyrical tone is far less distinct; opting for a more broad sense of appeal, reaching out to those weary of one’s city surroundings, “You’ve been around / You love to live to hate this town / And I hope and dream just like you do.” The track is perhaps most insightful in respects to this album’s overall attachment – catchy and sweet with plenty of “windows-down” potential.
It is however, a sentiment rarely reached in the album’s other offerings. Suffering from a severe case of ‘jimmyeatworlditis’, Spitalfield are keen on portraying their outlook in the sincerest form of flattery; “Five Days and Counting” and “In the Same Lifetime” are glaringly similar to Jim Adkins’ vocal/musical reasoning found on ‘Clarity’ and ‘Bleed American’. Both gently nudge your heart-on-the-sleeve needs with simple, reinforcing prose; in the latter mentioned vocalist Mark Rose waxes, “Under the same sky / in the same life she said “Go forward you can’t wait for it” / Walking backwards never gets one far” while his sugary voice rests in the similar pitched backdrop. Like plenty of snapshots, these far too familiar pullings suggest nothing more than intermittent listens and are awash with musically antiseptic textures.
And like every film roll, there is always that one out of focus picture. In this album’s final outing, it appears as if Spitalfield handed their camera to their dimwitted, clumsy friend whose thumb ends up covering the lens – “Make My Heart Attack” is a heavily pop inclined rock disaster with high feigned choruses of characterless lines highlighted by the very diary-like “I don’t know just where to start / it’s like, when I’m without you things just fall apart.” An utter calamity.
While buoyed by several starving limitations, Remember Right Now does what it apparently sets out to do – rekindling contemplative memories that will do little else but leave itself in personal collections sprite with coffee table appeal and that occasional desire to revisit.