Marriage Culture is the new 17-track LP from Casual Confrontation. It’s a concept record about all things marriage; the institution of marriage, attachment styles, the human desire to be loved and to feel connected to someone, and the emotions that come along with these things.
The record starts off with a 50s pop-rock introduction, called “Let’s Get Married.” It’s coming through an old school radio setting the theme for the rest of the record. We move on to track two. “Now That I’m In Love” talks about the beginning. The vocal delivery showcases the absolute excitement of falling in love with the person you know you want to marry. For most people, there is no better feeling than this. The bass line grooves throughout the track as the vocal sways perfectly on top. The lyrics capture the essence of love.
“To Belong” has an intense introduction, but then switches quickly to a poppy beat that could fit in with 90s boy bands. This song talks about attachment, the chase and the pull of some relationships. This song serves up a catchy hook melody that is simply irresistible. The synth lines are equally exciting.
“The concept of ‘Marriage Culture’ has been in the back of my mind since around 2018 and, after several years, I knew I was ready to create this album – but I was not going to make a breakup album or an album just nitpicking at one definition of marriage… I was ready to make an album about connection, fear, religion, and the rollercoaster that is attachment.” – Casual Confrontation
The narrative moves on to “Kids with Kids”, a funky pop song about tackles the concept of immaturity in relationships. Musically, this song is super exciting and worth listening to.
“Marry Me” is an intense song and it’s a must-hear. It talks about the religious institution of marriage. It denounces the bullies, the Christian fundamentalists who have claimed marriage for themselves and straight people only, and takes the power back for the queer community. Marriage is also ours, and this song is a powerful reminder of that. It shuts down the bigots who say otherwise.
The next song starts off with a deep piano riff and two layered synth sections. “Wedding Evite Song.” It explodes into a more poppy feel. The album travels to a nearly 2 minute interlude “Sewn on Skin” that really shows off the gorgeous vocal range of Casual Confrontation.
The next song “Let Me Kiss You” ebbs and flows through the emotions and rollercoaster of love. It’s about only expressing desire for the person you are into if they are expressing desire for you. This is a confusing feeling that happens in some relationships. It’s a universal feeling – we’ve all been there, really. This song leads us perfectly into the next part of the story “A Promise Over Joy,” which starts with the lyrics “we are at a turning point.” The following interlude “Tristeza en tu Voz” takes the listener on a percussion journey.
“Why Am I Here?” is an emotional track that talks about the heartbreak of the person you are in love with still being in love with someone else. Not being able to move on from the previous relationship, makes moving forward in the current relationship very hard. It also adds layers of confusion and frustration. The lyrics of this song perfectly capture that confusion and frustration.
We move on to the album’s title track. It has a soft introduction to set up the rest of the song, and it’s mood. “Marriage Culture” talks about giving up on marriage culture, the idea of wanting marriage. It’s about letting go of the attachment, and all the stereotypes that comes with the institution of marriage.
“Lekeitio” let’s the listener here more of the gorgeous piano playing. This song talks about uncertainty and indecision. It seems to be about wanting to let go and do it gracefully, without any hard feelings. The style of the record changes during the next interlude, “Demonious.” This is a heavy synth driven piece. It gives the record a bit of a lyrical break which lets the rest of the lyrics set in.
Next we move on to “Is It Hell With My Soul” which starts off with a synth and catchy vocal melodies. This song once again captures the darkness of heartbreak. I love that it synth driven. It flows perfectly into the next track, “And I’m The Devil”, both title-wise and musically. This song has even heavier synths than Demonious.
The last piece on the 17 song record has takes an unexpected turn with a hip hop beat and over-effected lyrics. “Now Kindly Undo These Straps” is not just the finale of the record but it’s the song that symbolizes the end of the relationship as well. It’s a dark sounding track that also has a sense of empowerment and self-love attached to it.
Overall, Marriage Culture is a stand-out concept album that fuses together many different genres and showcases the talent of Casual Confrontation.
MARRIAGE CULTURE ultimately reminds us that the love we search for from others will never compare to the love we can give ourselves – a love that is truly unique, beautiful, and necessary. – Casual Confrontation
Written by Ryan Cassata, for a review, visit here.