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Synthpop Single Review: "Always" by Star Madman

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Star Madman’s Always is a conversation between someone struggling and a friend who pledges their help. Resonant, dense bass throbs as drums jump in and ht with a wide sound as Star Madman’s soft, smooth voice carries almost chanted lyrics. Medium-low synth flowers in rising patterns over the bursting drums. Star Madman’s voice is reverberant and expressive, slowly rising and imbuing the song with an uplifting feeling.

The way in which the drums burst and mirror the wide-band, rising synth adds even more motion. Floating, glowing synth intertwines in luscious lines while the drums and bass keep guiding the music. Star Madman’s vocals are strong, cutting deep with emotion as she expresses the lyrical message. The bass has weight and shape as the higher synths dance out in slowly unfurling, spinning patterns.

Now the song flows into a segment in which brassy synth flashes in gleaming moments over the slightly uneven drumbeat and the rippling bass. There’s an enfolding, layered depth as Star Madman’s voice fills with affection and tenderness. The track winds down on trumpeting synth as it slips upwards and the bass throbs far below.

The first character in the song talks about having had a bad day and “enough today” as they find themselves “sad and lonely tonight.” They chide themselves to “try to suppress it” when things seem desperate.

The second character asks the other person why they should feel lonely because “if you ever feel down, know that I’ll always be around.” She tells the first character that they can call any time and she’ll always answer.

When the first character finds the answers “distant, unclear and inconsistent” and they’re having a existential crisis and “fighting through the resistance” the second character reminds them not to “let the world get you down, you know I’ll always be around.”

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© 2022 Karl Magi

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