The Veronicas – HUMAN

Sony Music Australia

Release Date: June 25th 2021

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

The Veronicas– HUMAN (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Without You
  2. Lies (feat. Muki)
  3. Movie Star (feat. FR33Sol & Lavva)
  4. LA
  5. On Your Side
  6. Out Of Time (feat. Wrabel)
  7. Think Of Me
  8. Jealous
  9. Biting My Tongue
  10. Goodbye
  11. Life Of The Party (feat. Allday)
  12. Human

Over the past few years, my notion of the types of music that I listen to and actually can gain something positive and beneficial from; has been challenged greatly and flipped upside down. See, sometimes I have indeed thought about the type of music that I have gravitated to in the past, and I was thinking about whether listening to something vastly different to what I have been listening to in the past (CCM, worship) will bring me a different perspective that is equally as valid. Though I do in fact love Christian music and worship music; I’ve nonetheless slowly but surely seeing the value in mainstream music. But as I’ve intentionally concluded (not written down but in my head) that this year is to be the year of me branching out even further into other types of music and seeing what God want to speak to me and impart to my life through whatever genre He wants to (but definitely no metal music for me!); I’ve often wondered if generally speaking, artists that I’ve never touched with a ten foot pole for whatever reason, are left untouched because they’re really terrible. Or are these artists (like Halsey, Billie Eilish, BTS, Twenty One Pilots, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jessica Mauboy, Kelly Rowland, Jessie J, Duran Duran, Rita Ora, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Miranda Lambert, Pussycat Dolls, Maroon 5, and Lady Gaga to name a few); in fact actually needed and useful to society but have been shunned by myself for whatever reason I’ve believed since when I was younger, even if it was false? Now, I’m not saying that I’m abandoning my world views and am now embracing a lifestyle whereby I listen to whatever I want. No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. It’s just that I’m curious as to whether there is absolute truth and value amongst what I’ve been told is worth less.

And as this year I’ve embarked on listening to and reviewing artists I would not have listened to normally (like Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, Olivia Rodrigo, Ellie Goulding, Ingrid Andress, Pink, Anne-Marie and Aly & AJ to name a few), I’ve been inspired and blessed beyond what I could ever comprehend as God’s been showing me that He can speaks through even the most unlikeliest of sources, and that we need to shed our preconceptions of what inspiring music can sound like. And now as I’ve continued on that journey, Australian sibling rock duo The Veronicas have hit hard (in a good way), and have ministered greatly to me with their music. Jess and Lisa Origliasso have been around for a while- yet it is only this year that I became really acquainted with their music. The girls have released 2 albums this year (GODZILLA and Human) and while they’re not my favourite band… there’s something resonating and meaningful about these albums that have me hooked, and there’s something about their songs that tug at my heart. Am I a fan of theirs? Hard to say… but these albums are indeed worth multiple listens, let’s put it that way…

We’re still the same two girls from Brisbane who were so excited to get into the studio and create for the first time. We relive that same feeling every time we go into the studio… [but] we’re so close with our mummy, she’s our best friend. She’s been our greatest rock, support and foundation. When she became sick, we made a commitment to each other and to her that we’d be there for her, no matter what. Our love for music isn’t going to go anywhere. We needed to prioritise our commitment to her and our love for her. It was the easiest decision we’ve made in our career. [And the pandemic] afforded us time to focus and prioritise being with her; we actually feel so thankful for that time.

Given the experiences I’ve had [in my relationships], I think right now what I’m really craving is to feel safe and secure in myself. Dependability is so important with what we’re going through. There are so many changes; I crave safety and security and self-love. I can depend on myself and my family. Until I can guarantee that again, I’m done taking too many risks for a little while.

Knowing hardly anything about The Veronicas for a while now (except for the single “If You Love Someone” from their self-titled album in 2014, which was heavily played on the radio during that time); I dived deep into their album GODZILLA first. You can read the review here… and now it’s time for me to voice my thoughts on Human. And let me tell you… that I was blown away with how vulnerable, honest, emotional and personal these songs are, and definitely surprised in a good way how the songs flowed and the lyrics and themes progressed. You could tell that the girls put their heart and soul into this release, and I for one have thoroughly enjoyed this musical experience. Album opener “Without You”, an emotional and honest piano ballad, packs a punch vocally and lyrically, as we are met with a powerful melody about dispelling the rumours of someone close to the girls. With the lyrics being about someone speaking down to them and maybe indirectly cursing them, that they’d never get far without this person in their lives; the melody could be about a dysfunctional romantic relationship or a toxic friendship or another relationship that isn’t constructive for them. But both Jess and Lisa passionately relay to us that ‘…without you I can hear my voice again, without you I can cry and not pretend, without you I finally see that I’m enough, without you I have learned to love myself…’; and this showcases that they’re finally breaking free of the negative influence in their lives- a vulnerable melody that is the perfect way to start the album- as a way to show up the doubters and the haters.

The rest of the album reveals to us an album full of emotion and passion, as well as inspiring and relevant truths that we can come to know and realise. “Lies” with Muki, is an intense melody about a failed relationship, with the girls badmouthing the ex, and relaying that ‘…you were such a nightmare tryna get to Heaven, even though your friends could get you a place there, you were such a nightmare, wanna get to Heaven, even though your mommy could buy you a place there…’, relaying that the ex was very cocky and certain that they themselves were perfect and above everyone (reminding us all that we need to be humble and grateful in every relationship we’re in); while the emotive and earnest “Movie Star”, with guest vocalists Lavva and FR33SOL, details the girls’ relationship with perhaps a former friend or an ex, reminding them that even though the other person is famous way beyond anything imaginable, the duo assure them that the two of them know the other person inside out, and that they’re worth more than the fame and recognition that others love them for: ‘…blinded by the lights, blinded by your name, you still believe my love’s only for your fame, but I know you’re lonely in that crowd, I know those friends have let you down, nobody will know who you really are, but to me, you were more than a movie star…’. “LA”, a brutal heart-wrenching break up song about realising that you have different goals in life to your partner, reveals to us that sometimes a clean break is needed, and that means not even visiting the city your past partner is residing in, or sometimes moving away from it; while “On Your Side”, a radio friendly pop melody, details the ups and downs of Jess’s relationship with Ruby Rose, and the realisation that you can still be on the same side as your ex. Loving someone through a break up and through the pain is hard… but at times it’s probably the most bravest thing to do.

“Out Of Time” featuring Wrabel, is a song that inspires us all to take action, and decide if a relationship is going to progress to the next step or not; while “Think Of Me” is a pop EDM melody outlining in detail Jess’s fears about ex Ruby and her moving on with another girl, and her wondering ‘…do you think that she’s the one or do you just pretend? And when she says it’s love, will you think of me instead?…’. And this song actually is applicable to the rest of us, as we realise that still being attracted to your ex is normal- that healing takes time, and that the person you’re supposed to be with for the rest of your life will undoubtedly come by at the right now. Until then, I guess you’re allowed to be jealous… as long as we all don’t let it consume us. “Jealous” takes the concept of thinking about your ex to another level, as the pop/rock 3 minute tune dives deep into over-obsessing and stalking to the point of being creepy- though jealousy is part of human life, this song is a warning that if we’re not careful we’ll be the very thing we’ve sworn to never be- someone who hasn’t gotten over the hurt and the pain, and someone who will destroy our own lives and everyone around us all because we can’t be the bigger person.

The moving, powerful and heartbreaking melody “Biting My Tongue” reveals a relationship that is somewhat destructive and dysfunctional, with the persona biting their tongue and not wanting to get out of it because of familiarity and loss of routine (warning us to actually rid ourselves of toxic and negative people in our lives!); while “Goodbye” has the girls saying goodbye forever to their ex because of a new partner. “Life Of The Party” features rapper Allday, and is a reflective, contemplative ballad about wanting to slow down and not be the party animal you were when you were in high school (and is actually a refreshing, revitalising melody that encourages us all to find our worth and identity in people, not just material possessions); while Human then ends with the title track. A 3-minute pop tune with sass and attitude, we are met with an emphatic declaration that we are all indeed human, and we’re all flawed. Yet the song is somewhat spiritual leaning as well, as Jess and Lisa sing out that we’re all ‘…tryin’ to make a connection, love’s unconditional, why’s it so impossible?… I wanna scream at the top of my lungs, anything just to feel alive, I’m only human…’. Fitting to end the album, Jess and Lisa earnestly sing out that though we may be flawed, that’s what makes us special and why relationships with each other are so paramount and important for our existence.

We adapt to different genres. We have such an appreciation for all kinds of music. We’ve always aspired to be the kind of artist who can play a massive sporting event [they’ll be the musical guests at the opening game of this year’s State Of Origin], a rock festival, a blues festival or wherever. We love a challenge. We love to be able to step into any arena and create a ‘Veronicas presence’. Once you’ve had what everyone thinks is the golden ticket, it’s really a blessed position to know it can corrupt you real quick if you let it. You meet a lot of people on the way who become corrupted by it. The whole point of life is to live a fulfilling life. The dream of what is fulfilling versus the reality of it is something we explore a lot.

Our passion for music has always been real. That’s what touched people. Even though after so long your band, your brand, your image gets touched by headlines, a collaborative narrative of media and public opinions, The Veronicas is still our baby. That can never be taken away from us. We’ll always have our music.

Apart from a couple of tracks like “Lies” and “Out Of Time”, The Veronicas have served up a solid, decent album (though not as impacting as GODZILLA in my opinion!), that has me slightly rethinking more and more my preconceptions of mainstream music. I’m not a fan o)f The Veronicas just yet… but Human (and also GODZILLA) has plenty of heartfelt and inspiring messages within these songs- and no doubt when I revisit the album again, I’ll gain something more from it. So what are you waiting for? Jess and Lisa Origliasso are iconic legends in Australia, and these girls have delivered a second moving, vibrant, emotional and encouraging comeback album. Need I say more? Now… girls, when are you releasing a Christmas album?

3 songs to listen to: Without You, On Your Side, Life Of The Party

Score: 4/5

RIYL: Halsey, Bebe Rexha, Avril Lavigne, Evanescence, Rita Ora, Maroon 5, CHVRCHES

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