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Synthpop Single Review: "The Limit' by Color Theory


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


Color Theory’s (Brian Hazard) The Limit combines a sadness tinged melody, painful lyrics and his emotive vocals. It begins with a cascading, bright synth carrying a metallic, drifting melodic pattern over the steady bass pulse. The melodic pattern vaults and wanders as a smooth beat flows in to direct the song.

Brian Hazard’s soft, distinctive and expressive voice carries lyrics full of a pained need to be given freedom. The deep bass and drum heartbeat shapes the song while the vocal melody glides along, tinged with sadness and the trembling emotion in the vocals.

The shimmering lead synth delicately cascades while deep bass and drum throb propels the track. Now Brian Hazard’s vocals are alone save for a deep bass throb with a gritty edge. All the shimmer and airy sound returns to float out over the strong emotions of the vocals and lyrics and above the thickness underneath it all.

As relationships break apart, the damage that ensues can cut to the quick. Our narrator begins by talking about how "the fear of falling and the promise not to fail” is pulling his “worlds apart.”

He points out that it will time for the other person to “light the match and leave me for dead.” In contrast to how she made him feel, he adds that everyone said she was “nice, sugar and spice.”

In the chorus, he pleads with her to just let him go because he’s “stretched to the limit and bones are bound to break.” He asks her if she wants “a fight to the finish” and if that will “satisfy the ache.”

The narrator doesn’t absolve himself as he talks about how he incriminates himself and is “flexible as a lie.” The result of their hostile relationship is “twisted arms and sadistic whims.”

There’s a sigh implicit in the line where he talks about how it ends up with “picking a fight on Saturday night.” At the end of the day, he asks her what would happen if “I told you that it wasn’t meant to be” and that he wouldn’t be “there for the ever after.”

© 2021 Karl Magi

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