‘No One Else Can Wear Your Crown’ is the third album from London-based electronic, synth-pop duo Oh Wonder.
The album is undeniably Oh Wonder’s most considered collection to date. If ‘No One Else Can Wear Your Crown’ has an overriding message, it’s self-acceptance and empowerment. It’s there in the Carpe Diem chorus of ‘Hallelujah’ and the positivity of ‘Dust’, from which the album title is taken.
Review of Oh Wonder - No One Else Can Wear Your Crown by Thomas Bleach
Finding their confidence within the balance of experimentation and the art of vulnerability, Oh Wonder’s third studio album is a sonical exploration of who they are as artists and what they want their legacy to be.
‘No One Else Can Wear Your Crown’ is a confident collection of tracks that hears the British duo diving into a bolder pop palette that pushes the boundaries of what people expect from them while also managing to hold onto their key foundations.
Using the symbolism of a crown and what it can represent to empower others, Opening track ‘Dust’ and lead single ‘Hallelujah’ embody that sentiment and begin to unravel their insecurities within these empowering statements of needing and wanting to keep moving forward.
Tackling the heavier experiential pop sound, there are few moments like the pulsating ‘Drunk On You’, the calming ‘Happy’ and the sassy yet reflective ‘I Wish I Never Met You’ that are ultimately the “poppiest” we have heard the duo on a record. And it actually really suits them.
The reflective moment of ‘I Wish I Never Met You’ shows a lot of maturity and growth with lead vocalist Josephine Vander Gucht singing about the anger and hurt she was put through various different toxic relationships but coming out of the other side for a new found understanding on why people act the way they do.
Stripping it down for the wholesome and organic ‘Better Now’, the emotional track hears the band reflecting on the sad news of a family member going through an incredibly tough and emotional first birth of their child. With a lot of complications involved, there was a lot of emotional trauma that the duo wanted to dissect and turn into a song of hope and understanding.
The album has a positive alt-pop spin while still managing to capture different empowering sides and vulnerable emotions. It also marks the first time that they’ve explicitly talked about their own relationship through music.
‘In And Out Of Love’ is a song that they wrote completely in their living room in about an hour at the piano about that warm feeling you get when you meet “the one”. With sweeping strings being incorporated into the piano ballad half way through, they lift the palette so simply and beautifully.
While ‘Nebraska’ reflects on the candid ups and downs of a relationship that can cause doubt, they beautifully sum up how they feel with a magical line that will melt your heart in about one second. And that line simply goes; “Can't get you out my mind cause you're still home”.
It’s also the perfect closing line to the whole album as it wraps up all of the highs and lows the albums lyrical journey explores and leaves you feeling a little bit of whiplash but also filled with content from this humbling and sweet experimental collection.
See more from Thomas on his website