Label: Decca Records
Released: 27th October 2023
Experiencing feelings of existential dread or generally just feeling a bit down? Shiny new supergroup FIZZ have been there, done that, got the t-shirt and they’re here to help on ‘The Secret To Life’.
The relaxing voice atop the elevator-music-esque melody of ‘A New Phase Awaits You’ might be enough to lull some into a false sense of security, with its generous suggestion that this album is an escape away from the woes of everyday life when actually, it’s the total opposite.
Between the four of them – dodie, Martin Luke Brown, Orla Gartland and Greta Isaac – they dip into a variety of worries. There’s rumination on growing older and that feeling of hopelessness about the future that resides within a lot of 20-somethings on ‘Hell of a Ride’, while the dodie-led ‘I Just Died’ drags listeners right into the toe-curlingly embarrassing experience of going above and beyond for someone who doesn’t quite reciprocate the same feelings.
There’s even time for each of them to showcase just how amazing they are solo, too. ‘As Good As It Gets’ is one of the most, if not the most powerful moment on the whole album as Greta laments the female experience – the years of never being allowed to just speak without being cut off, told to smile and disregarded by men. It’s catharsis at its finest, and God knows it’s needed.
dodie returns to her roots via a tender, albeit heartbreaking acoustic route on ‘You, Me, Lonely’, Martin does his very best Elton John impression through the ecstatic piano track ‘Rocket League’, and Orla is, well, classic Orla on ‘Close One’; it’s romantic but not so much that it’s a total cringe fest.
Theatrical closer ‘Grand Finale’ embraces melodrama with the four voices joining back together in amongst a huge explosion of instruments, it’s the kind of goodbye that would warrant pulling out all of the stops including a huge firework display.