Since 2005, Brian Sendrowitz has been the sole constant of Beat Radio, a project that’s been more much than a creative outlet. Along with a rotating cast of backing bands and collaborators, Sendrowitz’s output has resulted in 10 or so releases since the project’s start, including one made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Take It Forever is Beat Radio’s latest and perhaps Sendrowitz’s most confessional.
Taking a peek at the lyrics for this record, one would assume each were more than 5 minutes in length. On each song, Sendrowitz deposits everything he has on his mind, touching on themes that are both personal and omnipresent. Lyrics are a focal point for much of the record, not to take away from the anthemic music it’s paired with. On “Lost In The World” Sendrowitz sings of the personal importance of getting any piece of music out. On “Art Is The War,” Sendrowitz wrestles with the idea of making music to appeal with a mass audience or to make something special that’ll be meaningful for him and the closest around him.
Starting off with a subtle nod to Biggie’s “Juicy” with an autobiographical touch (“It was all a dream / I used to read Tape Op Magazine / Pavement and Neutral Milk Hotel tube amps and reel to reel machines“), “Song For Camden Powers” is a tribute to a late Beat Radio fan. On the track, Sendrowitz talks about what it was like for him to worship the bands he grew up listening to and never expecting that he himself would be the one being placed on the pedestal.
The record’s title track opener “Take It Forever” is a mix of reminiscing and looking ahead, with bustling instrumentation that has the feel of a rallying cry type song. Powered by chugging drums, Sendrowitz lays down his opinions on “exclusive” music premieres, publicists, and nostalgia with a side of cynicism and indifference.
Existentialism covers a decent chunk of the record, especially on tracks like “Losing Time,” where Sendrowitz relays his fears regarding not being able to the life he wanted or living with regret. Rolling from just a quaint mixture of chords, to collating with bustling brass and a boisterous rhythm second that feels kind of Springsteen-like. On “We’ll Be Forgotten,” Sendrowitz accepts the fact that end is inevitable. Held together by strands of a muted bass womp that almost feels “minimal”, Sendrowitz ponders about legacy and memory while finding comfort in the everyday.
Lyrics don’t have the same magnetism and instant zing as the instrumental elements in songwriting, but Take It Forever is one of those records with great lyrics that require every bit of your attention.
Cereal Pairing: Honey Nut Cheerios