Great Highway released their fifth studio record “Into the Sun,” a concept album taking place among the stars, featuring a cross-reference of pop, 80s synth wave, jazz, contemporary electronic dance music, and rock. Lush vocal harmonies and crunchy mastering push this record into the fore.
I suppose the saxophone is a little upfront for my tastes, yet without it, the record loses a major piece of its identity. I did find the record achieves its goal eventually. After listening several times to this collection of vibrant and forthright songs, I am possessed by a need to see the band live, in a place where the limits of the stereo field do not exist. It should be heard in concert to truly experience the energy and intensity of Great Highway’s full-spectrum, high-energy ensemble.
Each song on this album is named after various solar system and earthly elements. From the anthemic opening track, “Magnetic” to the catchy and rhythmic pop epic “Fall,” the listener begins to feel awash in the themes being explored. I sense a strong intersection of personal relationships within the field of celestial bodies. The album juxtaposes personal life and hard-lived heartache, with the constant tension and release felt as it roars around the sun.
This is an album worth listening to multiple times. I honestly did not like it at all on first listen. What are they after? But like most works that seek to break down our sense of artistic boundaries and genres, we often are shocked before we are awed. I thoroughly enjoyed the 7/19 release “Into the Sun” by Great Highway, and I look forward to hearing what you think!