Ten Silver Drops, the new album from Secret Machines, deals with the complex emotions surrounding failed relationships. Filled almost equally with sadness and bitterness, this sophomore effort is a step above their debut in almost every respect and may end up being the album that defines them as a band.
Even though the name of the album is Ten Silver Drops, there are only eight songs to be found on it. That's actually one less song than the band's 2004 debut Now Here Is Nowhere. However, these eight songs have stronger melodies, better lyrics, and a style that is overall more focused.
The album begins with "Alone, Jealous And Stoned," a song that captures the feelings of loss and longing after a break-up. The sad refrain of "I waited for you/ I've always waited for you" is replaced by bitterness in "All At Once (It's Not Important)." Lines like "All that time we spent I swear we wasted" really hit at how annoyed and angry we get with our exes while the pessimism in the line "What fell in place just falls apart" is pretty deep.
The emotions are not all contained in the lyrics. Time seems to move a little slower when you're depressed and that's certainly the case with "Daddy's In The Doldrums." It's over eight minutes long and a slow, almost plodding melody makes up the bulk of the song. "I Hate Pretending" features the refrain "I hate pretending I'm like you" and the hate explodes towards the end of the song. Things briefly devolve into an amazing cacophony of crashing drums, drum machines, and barely recognizable guitars before composure in the form of a more standard drumbeat is regained and accompanied by lighter sounds. Meanwhile, the appearance of an accordion on "I Want To Know If It's Still Possible" works surprisingly well.