The Head and the Heart chase mainstream ambition in their fourth studio album Living Mirage.

The Head and the Heart chase mainstream ambitions in their fourth studio album Living Mirage. Following 2016’s Signs of Light, the Seattle based group ventures towards a pop-forward album that promises a handful of radio-friendly sing-alongs, anchored by an expected collection of tried and true, robust folk-rock melodies.

The Head and the Heart play to their strengths as the album opens with “See You Through My Eyes”, as the bands dynamic signing duo Jonathan Russell and Charity Rose Thielen take turns signing about not being over a romance, yet realizing you can’t be happy in a relationship if you weren’t able to be content to begin with. The theme of romantic relationships continues, buzzing around the concept of unconditional love and working through trials and tribulations no matter what in the crowd pleasing single “Honeybee”, which is sure to get a live crowd clapping and swaying.

Through raw emotion, Russell finds himself as the common denominator between happiness and regret in “Running Through Hell”, juxtaposing the beauty of romance and the chaos of neglect. In a too little too late scenario, his priorities aren’t straight “…got myself in trouble with the boys again”, leading to an inevitable breakdown of his marriage. “I Found Out” kicks off with a powerful procession of acapela, followed by a sustained vocal driven song, leaving a catchy straight-forward sing along for fans to enjoy. Despite a few prominent singles, a few tracks overstay their welcome leaving questions about this new poppy direction.

Following the departure of Josiah Johnson in 2016, The Head and the Heart move onto a more pop-forward sound, signifying a new era for the Pacific Northwest band. Living Mirage promises a handful of memorable melodies, all while sacrificing authenticity in favor of album streams and radio-play.

Rating: 5.5