REVIEW: Alive Through Memories’ ‘Everything Must Go’: A Complete Emotional Journey
Alive Through Memories‘ new album, Everything Must Go, may seem at its surface to be an album about the highs and lows of life after a relationship. However, its overarching concept is something much larger.
“The record is truly an attempt to capture and document a journey towards rediscovering happiness,” said frontman and principal songwriter Alex McGillivray. “While that journey for me, in the context of this record, is through one of the most painful losses of friendship and companionship I’ve experienced, the idea of finding yourself in the midst of that darkness transcends my individual experience.”
The album’s very title, Everything Must Go, explores the notion of stripping away the elements of life that stand in the way of new beginnings — a journey that, for all its common threads, looks different for everyone whose life comes to a heartbreak-induced crossroads.
“Only when you are able to let it go, can you decide what from your past, if anything, you would like to keep as a part of your life journey,” McGillivray explained. “That sentiment, for me, much more authentically captures the meaning behind the music and the purpose behind my lyrics.”
That journey plays out in a series of highs and lows throughout the course of Everything Must Go, riding emotional waves of disbelief (“The End of Us“), anger (“Ruby Red“), recklessness (“Drown“), and regret (“My Best Friend“).
From there, the record gains momentum toward acceptance and happiness; “Recover” gives McGillivray a chance to acknowledge growth as a byproduct of discomfort and change, while “Happiness Is…” and the epic “A Consequence of Loving You” function together as a stream of consciousness through well-wishes and understanding that leads, ultimately, to a newfound sense of clarity.
In the end, Everything Must Go accomplishes its mission. By unapologetically and directly examining the emotions that emerge during the healing process, listeners are brought to accept each one as a necessary part of moving forward, and of achieving a new standard of true fulfillment.
We Were Supposed to Travel the World
The End of Us
My Best Friend
A Consequence of Loving You
Holiday (ft. Lisa Vassallo)