Many albums get criticized for having poor titles. This can be due to the title containing bad jokes, poor pop culture references or just awkward wording. However, few records appear more inappropriately titled than Imadethismistake's It's Okay (at least initially). In an album filled with songs about death, identity issues and betrayal, what could possibly seem "okay?"
Imadethismistake is largely the brainchild of singer/guitarist Kylewilliam (yeah it's his first name) Campol. Kylewilliam has recorded a couple of different times solo (though under the Imadethismistake moniker), but this is the first full length outing as a full band. Surprisingly, It's Okay doesn't have one of the main pitfalls of the classic singer/songwriter turned full band, which is the lack of involvement by the other musicians. Imadethismistake seems to consciously take this issue on by including several instrumental songs and extended instrumental parts in many songs. Sometimes it works great ("It's Okay") and sometimes it just feels like they didn't know how to start the next song ("Daydreams at Large"). Overall though it these pieces are well done and definitely keep it from being The Kylewilliam Band.
Musically, Imadethismistake, will definitely garner comparisons (earned or otherwise) to other Florida bands. While this is an easy way to give listeners a good starting point, they don't really do justice. The music ranges from the slower, atmosphere setting songs ("It's Okay", "Return to Form") to the fast paced hollering folk/punk of "My Sins". While many of the 11 songs are high energy, something keeps the album grounded. I can't judge if it's the pacing or overall musical vibe but the album never delves headlong into excitement. It's always weighted, ever so slightly, by a sense of awareness and overall consciousness of the world and events happening around the album. It may hamper some listeners from enjoying the album, it does keep listening sharp. You become aware that this album was written from lose, frustration and anger. It reminds that listener that this creative process comes with a price. While this may lose casual listeners it definitely keeps the album crisp over repeat listens.
Overall It's Okay tends to keep it's topics fairly dark. The second track, "There are Clear Skies Beyond Tallahassee", presents one of the brightest images of the album, offering a promise of hope beyond home and a dreams of escape. Inversely the second to last track, "It's Okay", brings up one of the more somber moments of the album with the repeated line of "We don't see the point of getting out of the water / Every time we try to come up, someone pushes us down." Several times the album utilizes self reference, either musically or lyrically and though it may not be readily apparent, it is one of the reason this album bares repeat listens exceptionally well.
So how does a an album that seems to discuss nothing but depressing subjects have the unchecked nerve to call itself It's Okay? This is the question that I kept asking myself. However, while doing so I noticed in the repeat listens that there was something comforting about the album. Something that does keep it from being over the top depressing and more introspective. Though I don't know if the tell is supposed to summarize the album or reassure the listener, you do get the feeling that it really is okay. As for the album, it's a little more than okay, it's pretty good.