Album Review: Together/Apart by Grieves


Grieves and Budo perform at Portland's Roseland Theater in April promoting his new album, Together/Apart


by Tom “Wonderboy” Roth

Ryan Lewis is to Macklemore, what Sabzi is to Geologic, what Budo is to Grieves. In each case, the former provides the beats for the latter and shapes the musical production. Most times, the DJ’s wares support the talents of the MC but every now and then, the beats shine through enough to stand on their own. It can get a little confusing as to who is behind the metaphorical wheel.

So it’s not hard to imagine that listening to Grieves’ new full-length release, Together/Apart, raises some doubts as to whether it is in fact Grieves’ album and not Budo’s.

Grieves’ words are delivered in tones that fit Budo’s haunted-house beats like a glove. “On the Rocks” is a fine example of the MC’s monotonic chants and with melancholy lyrics like “all of this will hold you down onto the ground until you’re crawling on the gravel like a regular guy”, it’s hard to argue that Together/Apart doesn’t have a dark meaning to convey.

As Grieves intonates downhearted messages, Budo cracks his knuckles and teases Adams Family-inspired tunes from an organ-synth. The funeral-motivated video for the album’s single “Bloody Poetry” is consistent with the album’s theme from the track’s title, to the moment Grieves is seen lying in a casket.

Despite the album’s darkness, it transcends a novelty Halloween release. Grieves’ struggles with substances, women, and having a place to call “home” are reprising concepts. Pretty heavy for an artist who’s only in his early 20’s. “Wild Things” lyrics condemning drug-dependency is run of the mill on Together/Apart.

The album’s Summer Solstice release date even pokes fun at the season’s lightheartedness. Give Together/Apart a listen but expect more rain than rainbows.

Click here to read USD Radio’s interview with Grieves.

Together/Apart (Deluxe Edition) - Grieves