Best of 2016 Playlist

January 16, 2016

Best of the Artist - The Color Morale

It was hard not to just do a list on the best songs from the band's third album, but we've managed to diversify and include songs from all 4 of their albums. The Color Morale
 has been writing music together about 2006, but have only recently found major success. Their debut album, "We All Have Demons" was released back in 2009, and the follow-up, "My Devil in Your Eyes" in 2011. Then in 2013, the band made their breakthrough album, and underwent a number of changes. But they came out better than ever. Now working on material for the new year, we're happy to look back at their lengthy catalog of songs and pick our favorites. 

To see other "Best of the Artist" posts like this one, click this (link). If you think we missed a song, be sure to go to the aforementioned link to check out our honorable mention list. If you would like to suggest a future "BotA" please leave a comment. To see our main Top 10/Quick Picks page click this (link). 

10. In Light In Me
Where Fall Out Boy is known for their lengthy song titles, The Color Morale are known for their clever puns (i.e Hole Hearted, Saviorself, Prey for Me, and Human(s)beings) This track's title plays on the phrase "enlighten me", and the song does so. Speaking directly to the listener frontman Garret Rapp asks, "How am I supposed to write about hope with catchy hooks and melodies, and make you sing along. Well I titled this album before I tried to write a song." It's recommended that you read the rest of the lyrics to understand the full weight of the song. "In Light In Me", along with "Burn Victims" and "Smoke and Mirrors", mix in TCM's previous metalcore style into the verses, then drifts into rock influenced choruses. Garret Rapp's grittier, and seemingly more natural style of unclean vocals on this album pays off. They pair well with the clean vocals, and the light nature of the choral lead guitar. 

9. I, the Jury
The closing song for the band's debut album, it differs from the rest of the album. Containing more clean vocals than unclean, and built on chord rhythms rather than chugs. This song ends the album on a higher note. The song's electric opening lays the groundwork for the rest of guitars. The distant high notes, and the layers of rhythm make this one of the more complex songs that band has to offer. The lyrics make the song that much better, "Father, father will they let you in, let you in? Please forgive me, I am one of them. So tear me open and reach right in. They don't have to go the same way, they came born to sin. In due time they'll all find that they can be forgiven."

8. Humannequin
The band's debut single hit hard, and remains a fan favorite. Mixing Rapp's sweet clean vocals with his heavy unclean vocals in what is now the classic TCM style. Though we deduct a few points for the chugs in the verses, the rest of the song has solid guitar work and drumming. Rapp's ability to switch from vocal styles shines through in this track. Verses that are pure metalcore to choruses and bridges that add a lighter atmosphere to an otherwise monotonus song. The structure of the song, aided by the band's knack for crafting fast breakdowns, make this a modern metalcore hit. 

7. Prey for Me 
This single from The Color Morale's 4th album, "Hold On Pain Ends" is driven by the band's most mainstream chorus yet. The opening lyrics to "Prey for Me" go, "When you are changing the life you know, it can be oh so hard to face. But what's worse is regret that one day you'll wake up. Pretending to love someone before you love yourself" If that doesn't leave a lasting impression, nothing on the album will. The lead guitar line is one of the best guitarist King has to offer. This is the first song by the band is almost completely clear of any chugging (save for the breakdown which has to have chugging). But the real highlight among the band is Steve Carey's drumming. His strong use of the toms in this track is something he hasn't done much in the past. The rhythms in the verses and bridge in particular are standouts. 

Falling Awake 
A standout in the band's sophomore album. It breaks up the album's edgier songs with a light opening, and the strongest vocal performance on this record from Rapp. The song starts with a slower clean guitar line and Rapp singing "In my spite of my cheerful demeanor, I'm afraid to set foot in the world. We watch the same dead clocks. These small hands need to meet the larger again." Then the guitar distorts and the rest of the band jumps in. Rapp's clean vocals maintain a larger than life quality, something that wouldn't be duplicated until "Hold On Pain Ends". The anthemic, almost poppy, chorus foreshadowed what the band would do in the ever close future. But the verses held true to TCM's metalcore roots. Which is what keeps us coming back for more. 

5. Demon Teeth
A setlist staple since its release, "Demon Teeth" remains a fan favorite. It puts the hardcore back in post-hardcore. This is the song you start a pit, mosh or circle, for. It's a blistering 3 minutes, that doesn't give the listener any time to relax. You're swept from verse to verse with intense vocals and brutal guitar riffs. Arguably the band's heaviest song to date, you'd be hard pressed to find a fan who doesn't love the band's live performances of this song. 

4. Burn Victims
The opening song for "Know Hopedoes what every opening track should do. Make you want to listen to the other 11 songs. Rapp's vocal performance is on point, to say the least. Whatever held him back before isn't holding him back now. Rapp lets everything loose during the verses of "Burn Victims", and then switches it up for a more melodic clean performance in the choruses. The song sets the stage with a well balanced blend of the band's heavier side, and newer material. And the dark, almost ominous feeling doesn't leave this song. It's transferred to the rest of the record, making this TCM's darkest release yet. 

3. The Dying Hymn
A peak into the band's future work, this song eases up on the metalcore for something different. Like "Falling Awake", this track breaks up the band's heavier moments by including creative riffs and an airy chorus. When they do heavy, they don't hold back. The band chugs their way through the second verse before switching back to Rapp's clean vocals and the melodic lead guitar line. If you only listen to one song from "My Devil in Your Eyes", pick this one. 

2. Learned Behavior
The first single from "Know Hope", "Learned Behavior" fuses rhythmic metalcore chugs with Devin King's elaborate lead guitar. As this was his was his first album with the band, we tip our hats to King for doing such an impressive job. Steve Carey's drumming acts as the song's heartbeat. Normally the drums act more as the backbone, and the bass as the heart. Hearing Carey keep time with Saunder's guitar shows just how skilled each party is. (P.S this song tied with Strange Comfort for #1, but we decided to give the latter the top spot based on fan responses). 

1. Strange Comfort

The second single from the band's third album is nothing but perfection. Rapp's chorus performance is reason enough to love this song. Everything from the effects to the dynamic between the clash of the melodic guitars and the drums. The song's structure dips from rhythmic verses to a soaring chorus that will remain in your mind for days to come after hearing it for the first time. The dark tone of the song juxtaposes the song's positive themes in the same way the verses and choruses contrast each other.Though it is one of the more "chuggy" songs on the album, that doesn't make it any less interesting. Every now and then you need a good chugged verse.