Torn in Two is a 10 song album put out in 2021 by the pop punk band Real Friends. Originally from Illinois, this is their first album without former front man Dan Lambton. This group is relatively new to me and this was my first time listening to one of their albums straight through.
The first song on the album is “Remedy for Reality” which I really enjoyed. With an easy-to-follow melody, and relatable lyrics, this song hits all the marks for a pop punk song. “Nervous Wreck” was the first single released off the album and focuses on isolation and dissociation, something I personally can relate to. Despite the hard topic, the song is upbeat and fun to sing along to. “Teeth” is the first slower, softer, song on the album. I liked the verses but didn’t love the chorus. With “Spinning,” Real Friends pick the tempo back up and despite the simple lyrics, this is one of my favorites off the album. The drumming kept me hooked throughout. Next is “Storyteller,” which surprised me on my first listen. It starts off mellow, before picking up at the chorus. It stays more energetic through the rest of the song, which I think was a great choice.
The second half of the album is variations of the first five songs. In “Remedy for Reality- Reimagined” they added a lot of electronic elements, completely changing the feel of the song. I really love this alternative version. For “Nervous Wreck- Reimagined,” they again leaned into a busier sound, adding many elements. “Teeth- Full Band” sounds like a completely different song. With a much stronger drumline than the original, I much preferred this version. “Spinning- Reimagined” is more mellow than the original, almost adding some indie-folk sound to the album. Finally in “Storyteller- Reimagined” Real Friends created a great indie-pop sound that drew me in and kept me listening till the last note.
This was an interesting listen. The first half of the album felt like a very stereotypical pop punk record. Although enjoyable to me, very little stuck out as different from other albums. However, I was very intrigued by the second half of the album where they did a little more experimentation into different sounds. This variety surprised me, and made for a very intriguing listening experience. Overall, I enjoyed the listen, and am looking forward to seeing them live this week!