Reimagined standards

As It Is re-releases album with a different sound


Ian Coulson

As It Is, a British-American pop-punk band, released “The Great Depression: Reimagined” in its entirety on Nov. 8. The album features all of the songs from the original album, “The Great Depression” but with a different sound on every song.

Rachel Laposka, Staff Writer

When most bands release an album, they typically follow up with a new merch line, a couple of music videos and maybe a headlining tour. For pop-punk band As It Is, however, a brand new album release will do the trick.

As It Is released “The Great Depression” back in August of 2018. On Nov. 8, the band released “The Great Depression: Reimagined,” taking the original album and altering every single song to further deepen the meaning. 

The band teased this release back in March by releasing “Denial: Reimagined,” an EP featuring the first three songs from the album — “The Great Depression – Reimagined,” “The Wounded World – Reimagined,” and “The Fire, The Dark – Reimagined”

After that initial EP release, the band would randomly release the other EPs containing the remainder of the songs on “The Great Depression.” Each EP had its own respective artwork that formed together to create the album artwork for “The Great Depression: Reimagined.”

I absolutely loved “The Great Depression” when it first came out, and I still love it just as much now. That being said, I was kind of nervous when the band started teasing a re-release. Just like the saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ I was concerned that the original album would lose the meaning it had with the re-release. 

Thankfully, I was proven wrong. “The Great Depression: Reimagined” took the original meaning from all of the songs and matched it with the proper instrumentals to enhance the overall meaning. Some songs off the original album were slower with the instrumentals, yet the lyrics were almost aggressive. With other songs, the sound adds to the lyrical meaning or in one case, took away from it.

On the original album, the song “The Question, The Answer” is slow-tempo and melodic. The reimagined version, however, is the complete opposite. “The Question, The Answer – Reimagined” is pure screamo, but it adds to the song’s overall meaning.

Just like the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ I was concerned that the original album would lose the meaning it had with the re-release.”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

The lyrics of this song are dark and angsty, and the original instrumentals of soft guitar and piano. Those soft instrumentals take away from the harsh realities the lyrics are expressing, which is why I enjoy the reimagined version so much. I am not going to lie, the song did take me by surprise and scared me a little bit. I was not exactly expecting a full-blown screamo song on the otherwise upbeat album.

My favorite song on both the original album and the reimagined album is “The Reaper.” On the original album, the song has more of a harsh sound to it, full of heavy guitar riffs and strained vocals. This is one of the cases where the sound on the original album matches the lyrics more than the sound on the reimagined album.

“The Reaper – Reimagined” has more of a jazzy-broadway vibe to it, which I was not expecting at all. Right off the bat, I was hooked by this version of the song — I am a huge theatre nerd and the fact that one of my favorite bands implemented a theatre-esque sound into their music really settled well with me. 

I think I have such a positive connotation with “The Reaper” because it was the first song I heard As It Is play live. It has really stuck with me due to the immense emotion Patty Walters, the lead singer of the band, pours into the song. 

By far the most interesting change on the reimagined album was to the song “The Truth I’ll Never Tell”. Originally, the song has more of a punk sound to it with edgy lyrics to match with it. It is definitely a close second favorite of mine even though I was a little underwhelmed by the reimagined version.

“The Truth I’ll Never Tell – Reimagined” is unique, to say the least. Instead of the fast-paced song with stereotypical rock instrumentals, it now resembles that of an ’80s videogame techno song. The sound is purely 8-bit with no vocals, just instrumentals.

When I say I was underwhelmed by the song, it is solely in the sense that I felt a bit more could have been done to further express the song. That does not mean I do not like the song, because quite frankly, I really enjoyed it. Sure, it is different than anything the band has put out before, but that is one of the reasons the band put this album out — to experiment with different sounds.

As It Is is a band that continues to baffle me to this day with their tremendous amount of talent. Their determination to challenge the standards of pop-punk is something that I will always admire.

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