Album Review: The World is a Beautiful Place… – ‘Always Foreign’

Posted: by The Editor


Always Foreign is the latest effort from Philly-by-Connecticut emo outfit, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. Known for their expansive, textural sonic landscapes, and for having one of the longest names in the game, TWIABP have been wading through the waves of changes in the genre for close to 10 years. Electing to approach the record from an indie/alternative rock perspective, the band do away with the post-rock influences and instrumental depth of their previous material, including 2015’s Harmlessness.

For better or worse, Always Foreign is distinctly different from what the band has done before. Within the album, there is a lack of the ambient instrumentation I expected, and I haven’t quite been able to adjust to the change. Fans of the band’s earlier works might feel the same. Furthermore, the lyricism on the record, though some of the most open and honest to date, isn’t as poetic as their work on prior albums. While it is far from simplistic, it is clear the band focused on writing catchier choruses and more accessible lyrics, but I missed the meticulous and metaphorical lyrics I had grown to love deciphering within their earlier works.

We live in a dark time, and Always Foreign is certainly a dark album. Angry, bitter, and frustrated tracks about former band members, current politics, and American racism dominate the album. If you are looking for a musical pick-me-up, this is not the album for you. There is no positive solution or redeeming release, this record dwells in the darkness.

To its credit, the album hammers its points home, and does so with tasteful riffs that add much needed flourishes. While some of these tracks could have used further development, it is a completely new style for the band so it is understandable that there would be some growing pains. Always Foreign is not a bad record, it just doesn’t feel fully realized. There’s plenty of potential found within these songs, but this record doesn’t live up to the high expectations I had set for them based upon my love for their prior more ambient works.



– Jacob Fishman