Simon Spire: No Solid Ground
Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Simon’s album since I asked him a few questions in November. While I may have been inspired by his thorough answers that told me this isn’t a fly-by-night pop singer who just wants to enjoy fifteen minutes of fame, it really was the strength of the lead track, “Liberate Your Love,” that had the name Simon Spire within easy reach at the back of my mind. I wanted his music right where it belongs: easily accessible on my iTunes list.
“Liberate Your Love” is ear candy that is enjoyed from the very first listen. And while the pop hook makes it evolve into the ear worm that you can’t dislodge no matter how hard you try, the lyrics aren’t fluff that you’d be embarrassed to sing out loud. While it may be easier to live a life in the shadows, that’s far from how we are intended to live. The right thing and the easy thing are hardly ever the same thing. While I would normally highlight my favorite lyrics, I’ll refrain this time, because I’d be writing them all out. Plus, it’s the music and Simon’s voice that sells this so well.
The rest of the tracks weren’t a disappointment, either. “Knocking On an Open Door” appears twice on the five song EP, but I didn’t get tired of hearing it. It’s another one of those songs that it is difficult to hear enough of, and the message is universal. We’re all looking for something. We all have that longing.
“No Solid Ground” and “The Blue Pill” are the two slower tempo songs, both introspective and searching. “No Solid Ground” begins with lyrics hinting at a desire for stability, but as the song progresses, it transforms into a song about being comfortable with who you are. “Even with all I want to be I might just end up me.”
“The Blue Pill,” with its childlike piano notes sprinkled throughout, makes this song about honesty interesting to examine from different perspectives. Realizing that the truth sometimes hurts, Simon comes to the conclusion “And one day you will finally see/That you don’t really want to be free/So much nicer instead to be happy/So why bother?” That, in fact, would be the biggest lie of all. Even if this song contains the heavier lyrics, and a sad heart that comes with knowing that while people say they want the truth, they don’t always mean it, there is also a feeling of doubt. He’s lying to himself and he doesn’t seem to like it enough to want to continue to believe it. If he did, after all, it would be completely straying from the person he’s looking for in “No Solid Ground.” Truth is a bitter pill indeed. But lies are even harder to swallow.
With his heart on his sleeve, thoughtful and creative lyrics, and enough originality to stand out in the world of mainstream pop, Simon’s No Solid Ground has enough substance to hold onto. While the energy and the positive messages are the most attractive thing about this EP, the thoughtful and relatable lyrics are a sturdy foundation that can maintain a long term career.
Be sure to download from iTunes and visit www.simonspire.com for more information.