To say that "Stop Motion" is an important album for the Houston band Parts Per Million would be a gross understatement. The culmination of years of planning and hard work, "Stop Motion" is PPM's ambitious "thematic" album that not only mirrors Singer Jay Ro's quarter-life struggles but also demonstrates the tremendous growth and maturity of the band. Improving upon their self-titled debut album, keyboardist Esther Na joins the group, adding whole new dimensions to their sound. Ro's voice has never been stronger and his guitar work has greatly improved, giving each song a unique punch 'n hook that has become a PPM standard. The bass skills of Josh Park have grown tremendously, and incorporates elements of progressive rock to add new elements to PPM's punk-ish sound. The 12 songs on Stop Motion can be grouped based on their respective themes. The 1st third of the album, with songs like "James" and "Simplex," reflects the frustration and self-centeredness that Ro encountered while working in corporate America. The middle portion reveals the tragic consequences of such self-centeredness that leads to hurting your loved ones (listen to the lyrics in "Stop Motion" and "You'll Go On"). The last act of the album closes out on a more hopeful note, with Ro finding a sense of peace and acceptance in something beyond just himself (see "Tunnel Vision" and "I Saw the World Around Me"). Fans of PPM's previous album should not worry though, this album is filled with many catchy and rockin' tunes that are sure to please any listener ("Analog Heart" is already a fan favorite).
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