I have listened to the Ready Set since 2010 and the evolution of his music and songwriting is unbelievable. Hearing the growth of his voice, lyrics and overall talent is a rewarding experience.This album demonstrates that he can keep up with other artists in the pop rock game. In order to celebrate the soon release of his new album, I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love on April 8, and recent signing to Hopeless Records, this is my review of his most recent full length, The Bad and the Better.
This album can be broken down into three major themes, not every song on the album fits each one but for the most part they do. Love, heartbreak and loving yourself are the three that stood out to me the most.
Most of the songs fit into the love category and this comes at no surprise to seasoned listeners of the Ready Set, many of his older records are for the most part about love. Songs like “Luxury,” “More Than This” and “Bitter and the Sweetness” are the ideal songs for this theme.
Out of these songs, “More Than This” is definitely a favorite. Once I heard the beginning I knew I was going to love this song and the lyrics represent love perfectly. “I wanna be more than this/ I got it bad for you” and “I would do anything but let go.” They are a bit cliche but it’s the upbeat background with cheesy love lyrics that makes me love this song so much.
Another song that fits into the love category is “Freakin’ Me Out,” although not as much as the previous tracks. The lyrics are not what really shine in this song, what does is the
get up and dance vibe it gives off. This vibe is precisely what keeps fans coming back to the Ready Set. I love the way he shows off his lows and highs that blend so well with the electronic sound.
Heartbreak is the second theme that the Ready Set uses in his songs and “Don’t You Need Me,” “Bleeding” and “Carry Me Home” are the three that stand out with heartbreak on this record. “Carry Me Home” has multiple parts that remind me of the Ready Set’s previous release, I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming. The verses and the bridge have a dreamy beat behind them and even the simple “la da da” parts remind me so much of 2010 Witzigreuter.
The last theme is loving yourself (no I’m not talking about Justin Bieber). “Castaway” and “Fangz” are the only two that stuck out to me for this topic but I’m sure there are hidden messages in the songs that I didn’t uncover.
Lyrically, “Castaway” is my favorite song on the whole album. The lyrics really speak and when put behind Witzigreuter’s voice and musical talent, they really shine. “Do you feel you’re not enough?/and impossible to love/…well I’ll be with you in the dark, and give you light when you’re afraid/…Everyone is a castaway.” This song isn’t a stereotypical ‘You’re worth it’ song and is delivered better than those. Witzigreuter isn’t saying that everyone who feels worthless is perfect like other songs, but that “Everyone is a castaway.” This means that everyone feels lost and like an outcast but they are strong enough to overcome it.
“Fangz” is much different than “Castaway” but still sends a similar message. The two things that I got out of it were to never let fears stop you and know that you have the power to take control of your life. He exhibits this through lyrics of “Stack up your fears, that s*** you’ll never need.” and “Don’t let go, you are in control and you’re ready/Take what’s yours.” It’s a more ‘in your face’ song since it is very electronically based and feels like something you would hear in a club which seems different than the typical electronic beats that the Ready Set usually uses. But still give it a couple listens because even if you don’t like it at first, it really does grow on you.
After putting out EP after EP for the past four or so years, the delivery of a full length that doesn’t disappoint shows how much Witzigreuter has grown and that he is meant to create music. I love that he isn’t afraid to try new techniques in order to further him and his song with songs like “Fangz” and “Terrible Things.” His lyrics are definitely one of his strengths, and the fact that it’s practically impossible for him to craft a song that’s not catchy and a blast to listen to over and over again.