A deep true love for this country
Send Away the Tigers has a lot of moments where the band sounds emotionally fake or away, like they’re not really pouring everything into the songs they churn out. It’s one of the reasons why the album slapped me as hard on the face as it did and why it took a long time to grow for me.
But Winterlovers wasn’t anything like that. It is the emotional heart of the album put at the end of the album. Lyrically it beats pretty much everything else on the album and doesn’t contain one cringeworthy moment, plus personal attachment always helps – the words remind me of my relationship to my home country and the relatively small home town of mine. Musically it packs a ton into it, the elegiac verses and James’ wonderfully subtle vocals turning into a big chorus – a cliché sure, but on an album full of them it’s one that doesn’t feel forced. And those “na na naaa” backing vocals are superb. The strings are beautiful. And the big instrumental section is excellent – it gives each of the three members a place in the spotlight for a while, from Nicky’s bass frolicking to James’ guitar solo and Sean’s individual drum bit. It’s just one of the things which makes it seem like a very close song to the band. It sounds personal, like a celebration of the band.
True, it could have been longer. It does still feel like it’s been cut short and abruptly. It doesn’t bother any more though. You get used to things. And abrupt end or not, the song still flows perfectly to that end.
At the end of an album that feels forced ever so often, Winterlovers ends the song run in a shockingly honest and warm way.