Glitterer’s “Life Is Not A Lesson” Review

With the recent announcement of an East Coast tour as well as the upcoming three year anniversary (Feb. 26th) of solo artist Glitterer’s sophomore album, “Life is Not a Lesson,” we explore the brief tracklist and consider its influence.

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Ned Russin, former Title Fight bassist and co-vocalist, has an impressive run of bands under his belt. Post-rock and hardcore seem to run through his veins. Past groups like Disengage, Stick Together, and Big Contest, to name a few, while relatively unpopular, allowed Russin to showcase his varied musical talent, and Glitterer is no exception.

Glitterer, however, lacks many elements that Russin often utilizes, and instead dives head-first into the electronic/dream-pop genre. The sound is distinctive, and still manages to feel heavy on instrumentation without being exceptionally loud—it’s certainly more palatable, generally, than a lot of his other work.

The record opens with what I think is one of its strongest songs, ”Bodies,” in which Russin expresses desire to “rid [himself] of feeling,” and is followed by its leading single, “Are You Sure?,” which is its most-streamed track by almost 600,000 plays and begs the question to the listener.

The lyrics from nearly every track convey Russin’s usual style of misanthropy and pessimism, while he questions the motives of himself and others throughout it. He is uncertain about himself and his purpose, and the musical interlude “Birdsong,” which comes after the first three quarters of the tracklist, gives the audience a moment to ponder all of the aforementioned uncertainties.

It closes with three songs that describe an uncomfortability with one’s social role. The title track, “Life is Not a Lesson,” uses soft vocals and simple lyrics to present complex emotions in digestible ways.

While stylistically different from Russin’s previous musical endeavors, it bubbles the same feelings to the surface with its raw vocals and vulnerability and should be applauded for its individualism.