Gone are the glory days of the 90s when shoegaze seemed to be on the forefront of what was going to be the next big musical genre. While it did have it’s impact it was quickly overshadowed. While some bands found their niche within the genre it can often times be hard to break any new ground. Crystal Eyes captures the sweetness of the 90s and blends it with modern pop sensibilities. The Sweetness Restored serves as a solid reminder as to why many of us fell in, and are still very much in love with shoegaze.
The album opens with “Wishes,” which also served as the lead single for the album. It’s an upbeat and poppy opener that easily and quickly gets the attention of the listener. Musically it is full and vibrant as it is carried by it’s melodic guitars. Things slow down a bit with “Like a Movie,” the third/latest single for the album. It has a much earthier tone to it, but once again the guitars carry the song beautifully. Things pick back up a bit with “Don’t Turn Around” which has some more of the album’s pop sensibilities. “Don’t Turn Around” was also the second single for the album. This seems like an odd choice to throw all 3 singles at the very beginning of the album. It’s risky as the average listener is prone to tune things out after hearing the more “popular” or “familiar” tracks on the album.
The album then drops gears with “I Still Believe in Love” and “I Still Believe in Love, Pt. 2.” To the casual listener this is the point that they would probably choose to move on. This is not to say that the pair of tracks are bad, but just seems to be an odd placement pairing them back to back. Had “Pt. 2” been placed later on the album as more of a reprise it might have carried more effect. However, placing it immediately after makes it seem like an over glorified super track which causes the effect of the droning guitars to seem unwarranted and unnecessary. The pair is followed by “2,000 Years” which would have made for a strong single release (hoping it is eventually), but seems to get a bit lost moving in to the album’s second half. “For Carole” is more of a spoken word interlude that is easily skipable, but does fit the overall aesthetic of the album.
“Pretty Dumb” ushers in the final act of the album and would be another strong contender for a future single. It is very much on par musically with the first act of the album and serves as a treat for anyone who checks out the album as a whole. “pretty Dumb” is followed by “A Dream I Had” which is my personal favorite from the album. It is the strongest track on the album both musically and lyrically and would probably be the most “radio friendly.” Things down shift once again for the final track, “No Heaven.” The breathy vocals make it stand out against the backdrop of the it’s almost ambient musical tones that transcend into a more whimsical upbeat trend that takes the song through to it’s culmination.
Overall, the album is full of magnificently crafted tracks that relish in all their shoegaze glory with only a couple of slight missteps. The Sweetness Restored is available for streaming on all major platforms or you can purchase a digital download via their Bandcamp page.