Conchita WURST’s Truth Over Magnitude hurts my heart
Yesterday was the long-awaited day for Conchita WURST‘s debut album Truth Over Magnitude. Released on the Sony Music Austria label and, other than one song (possibly two?), it is a spectacular release.
So, I’ll walk you through why WURST’s Truth Over Magnitude is even better than I expected it to be, which song/songs are a bit of a letdown, and which deserve 5,000 listens.
WURST’s Truth Over Magnitude — Tom Neuwirth’s third studio album
Truth Over Magnitude (T.O.M. — get it?) — a 12-track album of predominantly electro-pop songs. Six tracks were released before the album. Six others were brand new listenings today.
Track by track then…
‘Trash All The Glam‘ — The first single release from Truth Over Magnitude, and the first time WURST appeared on the scene.
A beautifully smooth beat, a futuristic, hypnotic melody and WURST’s vocals are spectacular here. Particularly as this is a new genre of music for him. A genre he sounds just as authentic in as in any Celine Dion-esque ballad.
‘Trash All The Glam‘ also came with a brilliant music video — come on, Tom Neuwirth in head-to-toe latex and covered in lube? Kind of hard to beat that.
Oh and yes, seven months later, and I’d be bored stiff with most songs. This one is so good, it still holds up and I’m not bored with it yet.
‘Satori‘ — Having lived in a Buddhist country for almost 15 years, I’m familiar with satori. A word meaning ‘enlightenment’ in Japanese.
It is also the title of the second song on Truth Over Magnitude, and a superb song to illustrate what Tom Neuwirth has been struggling to attain since his Eurovision win.
Because here’s a dude who became famous while wearing a wig, a dress, heels and a beard. A dude who struggled with that self-imposed image for four years, and who obviously didn’t want to be living that way for the rest of his life.
A dude who was bullied into revealing to the world he was HIV positive, and a dude who resolved all this emotional upheaval by first shaving his head (my very own Austrian Buddhist monk!) and then by dumping the bewigged-diva and creating WURST.
I’d say enlightenment is something Tom Neuwirth has in the bag at this point. Seeing how chill he has been since WURST showed up.
As for WURST’s ‘Satori‘, the song is catchy, it grabs you on the first listen, WURST’s main vocals and backing vocals are super strong, and that chorus is gorgeous.
‘Satori‘ is one I can’t wait to hear live, as it’s the perfect track for that mellow almost meditative way I love to dance.
‘To The Beat‘ — The fourth release from the album, I’ve said pretty much all I want to say about ‘To The Beat‘ here.
The song itself holds up and holds up and holds up (I could listen to it 1,000 times and probably will), and the music video not only has some of the most beautiful imagery I’ve seen in any video WURST or Conchita Wurst have produced, it is also a lovely homage to Tom’s beloved grandmother.
‘Can’t Come Back‘ — The second just-released song on Truth Over Magnitude, and bloody hell is this thing gorgeous. (The arrangement alone is worth at least 10 listens).
One of the most emotional songs on the album, WURST’s voice starts off electronically manipulated to crazy almost chipmunk high heights, and then descends into him hitting his absolutely lowest notes in a sumptuous almost growly way.
It ends with some of the highest notes you’ll hear any pop singer reach. Yes, his range is just ridiculously wide.
And his voice is goose-bumpingly beautiful in these first few lyrics —
i don’t know if
all of me is on the same side
but it seems to be gone too far
i hold my breath i pause
i rethink and dive into
these eyes of yours somehow
i let my guards down
when with you
it seems you can call it
and i do
all of me is yours
it’s borderline me
it is more than time for me
to make you leave
and i can’t come back
Lyrics and vocals that illustrate perfectly that dichotomy most of us have felt (me more recently than I would like to admit) — being so much in love you can’t see straight while knowing this is absolutely someone you should be running from with all your might.
‘Hit Me’ — Stunning when it was first released. Even more stunning when performed live at the Austrian Amadeus Music Awards.
And Tom Neuwirth’s declaration to the world “Try me. Because I guarantee, I’ll win and you’ll lose”. (Read my full article of his live performance of this powerful song here).
‘See Me Now‘ — WURST’s third release back in April and, as I said in my article about the song back then — “his thank you, and then farewell, to those who want him to continue to do what stopped making him happy a long time ago.
Because he is on his way onwards and upwards. With or without you.”
‘Resign‘ — WURST’s refusal to remain in a relationship that is dragging him down.
A mesmerizing melody, simple but powerful lyrics, heart-breaking in their emotional simplicity, but also a song with a feeling of hope. Hope that the person singing this will survive and grow past whatever is now holding him back.
And oh Tom Neuwirth, your beautiful vocals just make me smile.
‘Under The Gun‘ — The most danceable song on the album, and one that definitely seems to be a fan favorite so far.
For me, I can appreciate that it is a well-written song, and one that is more than a little edgy. And a song I think will be superb in concert.
In other words, a song I’ll be happy to dance to. Just not one I find particularly compelling to listen to that often.
‘Kuku’ — ‘Kuku‘ doesn’t belong on this superb album. It’s a weak song, entirely unmemorable, in fact five minutes after listening to it and I couldn’t tell you how it sounds.
But that in itself is actually quite astounding.
Because most albums are the opposite — a couple of great songs and the rest are “meh”. That ‘Kuku‘ is the only song on Truth Over Magnitude I couldn’t care less if I never hear again, that’s quite remarkable.
Then again, I will reserve final judgement on this until next week and WURST’s album release concert where he will be performing every track on the album live.
As Tom Neuwirth has a habit of presenting a song live and completely changing my mind.
‘Forward‘ — ‘Forward‘ was released a few months ago, and seems to be a song fans either love or hate. I love it.
It’s definitely falsetto heavy, and that can sometimes cause a problem for WURST live, as the range changes in this song require some major concentration.
But the song is addictively catchy, has the most gorgeous beat and melody, and is crazy memorable. And, as someone who absolutely detests falsettos in any shape or form, I love WURST’s here.
‘SIX’ — Forever hereafter known as ‘Motherf*cking SIX!!!!!‘ — because this thing of beauty is already etched on my soul. It is also the best song on Truth Over Magnitude.
Although ‘SIX‘ is not a WURST song. It’s Conchita, through and through.
Here, Tom Neuwirth has an ability few singers do. The ability to paint how he feels with his voice as he sings so that you can visualize the thoughts in his head perfectly.
And with ‘SIX‘, this is one of those songs that alternately makes me cry and makes me feel like I can fly.
Tom Neuwirth, your voice here and your emotions hurt my heart.
‘Truth Over Magnitude‘ — The one song on the album I am completely ambivalent about. It just doesn’t affect me one way or the other because, while it’s not a bad song, it’s not a particularly good song. At least in the way that it doesn’t have anything much you can grab onto.
A pity, as it is the title track.
But, again, because I am quite firmly sat on the fence with this one, a good live performance could make me give it more than a second look.
WURST’s Truth Over Magnitude
Truth Over Magnitude is WURST’s debut and Tom Neuwirth’s third studio album and first electro pop outing. A follow up to Conchita Wurst’s superb self-titled debut album, and Conchita’s phenomenal collaboration with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra — From Vienna With Love.
It is more than a worthy successor. It is his most personal release yet.
Tracks written by: Albin Janoska, Eva Klampfer, Thomas Neuwirth
Produced by: Albin Janoska
12 tracks. One weak song. One that is fine, and may ultimately grow on me. And one that is a cool, edgy song, just not my particular taste. Unless I’m dancing to it.
That leaves eight beautiful, super strong songs. And ‘SIX‘. The absolute stand-out.
Songs in which WURST’s vocals are superb. Vocals that portray emotion and drama, power and hope. And yes, growth and enlightenment.
Songs I am looking forward to seeing performed live during WURST’s album release concert at Vienna’s WUK on November 2nd.
Mind-bogglingly, there are still tickets available for that. If you like WURST’s Truth Over Magnitude as much as I do, I would highly recommend you grab a couple while you still can.
Because Tom Neuwirth recorded is one thing. Tom Neuwirth live is something else entirely.
And now I’ll leave you with the following — for no other reason than that is one incredibly beautiful man. And someone who is that damn pretty deserves to be appreciated.