On February 15th, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending a concert featuring Ryan Hamilton and Jarret Reddick as People on Vacation, with Lacey opening the show. In the review I noted how Nottingham’s Lacey, a spirited four-piece band, delivered harmonious music with delightful pop-punk elements.

Fast forward to the present, and Lacey’s evolution is evident in their latest album, “This is All We Are.” A standout track, “3am Sonata,” showcases the band’s growth, its expansive and ambitious composition reflecting a newfound maturity. “Run Away” exudes a sound that could easily command a massive following in the US music scene, hinting at the potential for greatness.

The album takes an elevated turn with “Maybe I’m Alive,” elevating the energy and intensity. “Easy Way Out” takes a more pop-oriented route, signaling a shift towards a broader musical landscape. “Dream In A Little Less Colour” emerges as a crowning achievement, a track that could very well find its place on Billboard charts, if they were a US band.

In the midst of a few ballads, “Middle England” stands tall with its vast sonic expanse, capturing a pinnacle of musical achievement. “& Always” serves as both a refreshing interlude and a testament to the band’s artistic ambition. While not overtly country, the album features a tracks akin to the US country-pop genre, much like the ones found in countless American records.

“I Always Tell The Truth (Even When I Lie)” momentarily sidesteps the punk influence in “pop punk”, yet “You Can’t Compete With History” swiftly reaffirms that Lacey’s evolution has led to a considerable improvement. “Flaws” pulses elegantly in the shadows, a testament to the band’s ability to navigate musical nuances.

Culminating with “This Is All We Are,” the album encapsulates Lacey’s essence as a polished pop-rock ensemble. This release is particularly significant as it marks their first album in half a decade, signifying a maturation process that has brought them to this point. Lacey aptly characterizes “This is All We Are” as a collection of 14 lyrically poignant tracks, encased in a shimmering, anthemic pop package – an accurate portrayal of their musical accomplishment.

“This is All We Are” attests to Lacey’s growth and transformation. It’s an album that radiates lyrical depth within a polished pop-rock soundscape, showcasing the band’s artistic journey and accomplishments over the years.

Rating 7/10

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