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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: ‘Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.’ is a spectacular return for musical duo, Crosses

Photo courtesy of Warner Records Inc.

Crosses, or as they represent themselves, “††† (Crosses),” is a little supergroup composed of Chino Moreno, the frontman of the nu metal legends, Deftones, and Shaun Lopez, the guitarist from the underground elite alternative band, Far. “Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.” is the duo’s third release and second studio album. Despite Moreno’s background in nu metal, their musical clash results in an alternative/indie sound. After listening to it, it not only proves Lopez’s versatility, but Moreno’s. If I didn’t have any previous knowledge of Moreno and his earlier work, I wouldn’t have guessed he is a nu metal singer. It has been eight years since Moreno and Lopez’s last release as “Crosses.” Everything on this album sounds recognizable, yet fresh. It was a fun ride to see what they came up with after their hiatus. 

The album opens with “Pleasure,” a strong blend of indie and alt rock; it makes me feel like there is an impending doom. It’s a perfect opener and a representation of the kind of experience I was going to have with this album. The turntables, drum samples and Moreno’s hair-raising breaths unnerve me. It also makes me feel strange, since the lyrics are about discovering pleasure after a long time of feeling empty. The song tricked me into believing that whatever this “pleasure” is, it will only cause harm.

The second track and first single is called “Invisible Hand.” Its main riff loop and samples cut in and out a few times during the song, which got me bobbing, then stopping to appreciate the new direction and vibe, then bobbing again. The main loop is a single electronic note sounding like a robotic breath; it’s repeated again and again around 170 beats per minute. It keeps me on my toes until the riff cuts off, then it brings me back onto my toes when it cuts in again. The lyrics talk about being trapped in a sick game with someone else who is controlling Moreno with an invisible hand. I feel that anyone in an uncompromising position can understand this song. 

The next single is track four, “Light as a Feather.” This song radiates a pristine atmosphere, more fluid harmonies, more high-pitched and concise notes and a caramel-like falsetto in Moreno’s dramatic tenor. This song is about love winning: it stops Moreno from staying stuck in his own thoughts, a nice contrast from the earlier songs. With this person, he feels light like a feather. This song shows the more indie side of the album and what it has to offer. The indie influence is undeniably the most prominent part of the experience, since “Light as a Feather” is the best song on the whole album. 

Tracks seven and eight, “Big Youth” and “End Youth (Reprise)” respectively, are strongly more alternative than indie. Vibrant electronic drums and smooth guitar and bass work flow together like a mild river. What makes the prior song stand out from most of the album is the voicework of Moreno and the guest rapper, El-P. Moreno changes through the first half of the song with a suave and tempting voice in the verses and an assertive, almost angry tone in the choruses. After the chorus is repeated, El-P takes over the third and fourth verses in a rap. He adds so much flavor to the song and hypes up the stakes. So, when Moreno finishes the song with a similar modal to El-P, it threw me into amazement again as it transitioned into the outro; the performances were so similar yet so different they complimented each other as it evened out. “End Youth (Reprise)” is an additional minute and a half instrumental. While it is nice to listen to an extension of “Big Youth,” it is a bit unnecessary. The album would’ve been fine without it. 

Track nine, “Last Rites,” has soft synthesizers and subtle pianos. Once again, Moreno’s voice is the most prominent instrument. It is more angelic here and it keeps its presence even as the drums, bass and guitar kick in at about halfway through the song. It uses touches of religious imagery, and it complements the story in the song, as well as the overall themes of the band. The song is about missing someone who is gone and walking the world sad and alone. It is definitely the most somber, yet serene-sounding track. The sad lyrics and the beautiful sounds of the song are a wonderful contrast. 

Tracks 10 to 13 are amazing and nice to listen to, but it’s here where the album tapers off with the more forgettable songs. However, the last two tracks are noteworthy. 

Track fourteen is “Girls Float † Boys Cry”. This song has a more dark and gospel effect, with Moreno singing in an airy tone producing a haunted sound. The song is about losing someone special and feeling lonely. This loneliness cannot be shaken off; it’s there to stay. Robert Smith, frontman of The Cure, sings the contribution “I can’t shake it” in a controlled anguish, which adds to the relatable darkness of the song. 

The final track is the title track, “Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.” Like the previous song, Moreno lets his voice become heavy and calm-sounding. The song is about telling a loved one good night and how amazing they are. The first three phrases in the song’s title are hinted at or sung in the song’s lyrics, but the phrase “Delete.” isn’t. It makes me wonder if the person who is being adored isn’t physically there. I think “Delete.” elucidates about a text which was typed but wasn’t sent because it was deleted at the last minute. 

The songs on the album talk about the loss of loved ones, but also being happy of having them in your life. On the tracks which talk about the loss, it is never specified if they died and how, if a separation occurred or what their affiliation is. It’s up to the listener to decide. On tracks that talk about happiness with a loved one, it is never explained what made them feel alone beforehand – minus a few. Once again, it is up to the listener to decide what occurred. With these songs of love gained and love lost, I see the album as an emotional loop, going from one love to another. It is definitely an amazing return for the duo. 

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About the Contributor
Tyler Guthrie, Columnist
Tyler Guthrie is a second-year columnist with The Sunflower. He is a creative writing major with a Spanish minor from El Dorado, Kansas. Guthrie uses he/him pronouns.

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