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Music Reviews

In The End It Always Does

The Japanese House
Released: 06.30.23
Review by Jack Rogers | July 4, 2023 at 10:00 AM

No one’s ever gonna love me like this dog lying in my lap

Capturing the ebb and flow of emotion in art is a musician’s biggest challenge. But to then try and do that with the bouquet of feelings that a break-up throws your way. That’s a whole other ball game. From heartbreak to hedonism. Chaos and catharsis. Apocalypse to acceptance. It is a rollercoaster that all of us will ride at least once in our lives. But to make those moments feel nuanced, human and vital. That is a talent reserved for the most immaculate of creators. And with In The End It Always Does, The Japanese House prove that they are in that very elite.

The second full-length from Amber Bain’s personal and powerful project is also the second time she has collaborated with The 1975’s George Daniel, co-producing alongside Chloe Kramer. Compared to where the band’s earlier work would lean – ethereal, dense, dramatic – this latest effort lets some of the sun peak through the cracks. There’s still an intimacy to the likes of the crisp “Morning Pages”, which features a spine-tingling appearance from MUNA. Then there’s the heart-wrenching “One for sorrow, two for Joni Jones“, incorporating swells and swirls of soft keys, off-kilter horns and breathless vocals. The more tender points of feeling broken and lost are delivered in a way that hits all the more potent and powerfully.

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But it’s in the expansions of the record where the most risks are taken that The Japanese House’s and Amber’s futures lie. “Touching Yourself” is playful and dancefloor-ready, not holding back in its sensual tension and lip-biting honesty. Then there’s “Over There”, which rips apart melodies and pieces them back together with the flair and finesse of Bon Iver at their most vibrant. “Boyhood” is throwback pop at its most colorful and crystalline and “Sunshine Baby“, which features Matty Healy, is the perfect song for every spontaneous road trip you’ll ever take again. All remarkable, all unique and all compelling in every sense.

It’s in these moments of gorgeous joy that the healing factors of this album shine the brightest. A reminder that we are allowed to feel lost. But we are also allowed to get better. We’re allowed to question ourselves as much as we know what we are worth. It is the epitome of the human experience to live and to learn from what we go through, and The Japanese House achieve this by producing the sort of timeless songwriting that sticks to you like tar for the rest of your days.

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No matter where you are in your life or what you have been through, solace can be found in In The End It Always Does. A beautifully constructed, intimately performed and astonishingly affecting record. It will propel Amber Bain into the echelons of alternative folklore as much being part of the recovery of many a broken heart.

Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it?: Buy it. Treasure it and use it to soothe your soul in your most tender of moments.

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