No Sound From The Outside was one of the records that remained on that indefinite pile of albums that pass by during a year. Saybia never really was my band in the 00s, although it had a few beautiful songs to its name. Things changed when the album moved from my iPod to my cd player and got played in the room, instead of my ears.
No Sound From The Outside simply is a beautiful album, a serious album of the kind in which the flame of the joy of life seems to have been extinguished. The approach to the music has not changed so much. Saybia still excels in the kind of superior pop ballad, but there's a darkness over the music that gives the music of the band an extra texture and frankly makes it more interesting to listen to for a whole album. The music is more atmosphere than straightforward songs. Saybia has shaken off the A-Ha factor and won a world. In the last quarter of the album things change, as you'll read later.
Saybia released three albums in the 00s. In 2008 a personal tragedy struck singer Søren Huss after which the band went on hold. Although the band started performing again from 2010 onward, it took five more years before a new record was released.
The band members entered their 40s and somehow I'm able to hear that Saybia is less melancholy and more serious. The music is in full support of the lyrics that point to negative experiences. "The eye of the storm". "There's a black hole in your soul". There's resignation as well, "I found piece in my heart, with what I leave behind", as Huss sings in 'Airplanes and Submarines". Life has gone on and so have I, he tells us in an indirect way. At the same time the music expands easily from a very basic accompaniment to a multi-layered guitar extravaganza, without falling into the trap of overdoing it. In other words, Saybia has found a delicate balance in its music.
That music is soft rock or that term of old: adult oriented rock. But not of that horrid kind that came out of the U.S. in the 80s. You can hear the 'I Don't Know What Love Is' synths in 'Hollow Is Your Promise' for example. At the same time time Saybia explores where Coldplay left off for whatever pastures I do not tend to graze on. The band manages to make soft pop/rock interesting, by giving the music an extra layer. In that layer not only nice little things happen on the instruments, the melodies are as if that puppy dog looks me in the eye, as if it is telling me 'look how cute I am'. There's that delicate balance again, as this could go so terribly wrong with me. No Sound From The Outside maintains it mostly throughout the album. Sometimes through a nice lead guitar line, then a bass pops up or the keyboards do something extra that make them and the song stand out. All in one song at a time.
It is Søren Huss who is the stable factor. His voice sounds the same no matter what song. He sounds in a way that makes me wonder whether he ever smiles. Not as if he is about to bursts into tears, no, more towards emotionless observation of the things he is singing about. When he changes this just a little in the double tracked 'Ominous Mystery', it is as if the sun burst through a small hole in the dark overcast winter sky, totally unexpected. The clear guitars support the mood immediately. Just well done. In the second half of the album, the mood does lift more often, like in the up tempo 'It's About Time'. It is more fun, but also less exciting. Saybia becomes more like a regular band. O.k., but not special.
Saybia is back and with an album it has every right to be proud of. An album that begs listening and holds several songs that can be called beautiful. By the time that the downcast mood may become just too much, the band is able to change the mood as well, without losing an inch on quality. 'It's Been Way To Long' is even funny when the dog comes out. Saybia is back. Welcome!
You can listen here to 'Black Hole':
or buy on Bol.com