Written by Maria Arroyo
Artist: Kiwi Jr.
Album: Football Money
Football Money is a 10-track album that has been five years in the making.
The album opens with the track “Murder In The Cathedral.” Right off the bat, I knew this was going to be a different kind of album: not as mainstream as others. The title alone made me ready to be in my feelings and boy was I wrong.
It had a surprisingly upbeat beginning with very compelling lyrics that tell a story in a way that resonated with me. Throughout the album, there was a lot of psychedelic and prismatic awareness where the music did not feel rigid or tough like the title suggests. Those same senses shine through in “Gimme More”, “Comeback Baby”, and “Nothing Changes.”
While there are some differences between the songs, I lumped these together because they felt too similar. They did not jump far enough out of the box because these songs elicit too many similarities in musicianship, style, and overall presentation.
This isn’t always a bad thing, but let’s say all these songs were back to back in the album? You wouldn’t know where the first song ended and the next started. Sure you could tell because of the shifts in keys or tempo, but the songs as a whole felt too similar to really diversify the whole album.
“Salary Man” was the one song that was hardest for me to really read into. I didn’t get a sense of a beginning, middle, and end for the song. It felt sort of like a bunch of slightly different things all put together as a song. So maybe that’s what they were going for? Only they can tell us that.
Leslie had this anthem-like energy to it, though I’m not quite sure what the anthem would have been about. This was also a great example of how this album as a whole should just be taken at face value because I don’t believe there is some hidden meaning that we all should try to decipher, but rather just enjoy for exactly what it is.
“Soft Water Apple” was probably the most striking song of the album not because of how short the song was compared to the rest, but because it just had a different experience surrounding it. The only way I could describe it is a cry for help, only I’m just not sure to what and/or whom. I think they had great ideas and intentions for this song, but it lacked clarity and focus to really get a strong point across.
The next song is the title track, “Football Money”, which for me I had higher expectations for seeing as though the album title is after this song. This song had a great placement for the album because it really shifted perspective and its vision 180 degrees. It finally felt like something this band hadn’t done before which was much needed for this album.
“Swimming Pool” had vibes that resembled the Beach Boys with their brilliant use of stacked harmonies which was a needed change for the album.
Closing out the album is “Wicked Witches.” While I did have some issues with their sound being too similar, this song basically ended the album the way it started, which I really appreciate. That was definitely the only time I felt that everything connected into an actual story, rather than a bunch of little stories that were put together just hoping to stick. The band also did a great job with paying attention to those strong breaks and pauses to really emphasize certain points on the song, which show unbelievable attention to detail. This song was most definitely the right choice for closing out the album.
Their sound does not match their image which is always a delightful surprise for me. Their album as a whole is not overly produced to fix every little hiccup as most artists do, so I do commend them on their authentic sound and that they probably sound the same in-person which is such a huge positive for me.
Ultimately, there was such a carefree feel about their sound and not something you have to read too much into. The songs themselves at times felt unplanned in a strange but slightly intriguing way as their sound still stays true to the album as a whole.