It’s been over a year since the release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and the world is still talking about it. While some fans may have grown tired of Michael Bay’s inaccurate depiction of vampires’ and werewolves’ world, the film still enjoys a cult status. The franchise as a whole has sold more than 500 million tickets worldwide and its success demonstrates the enduring popularity of the book series. After the cinematic event of the year, it’s time for the actor to release his follow-up album and this time around, he’s decided to explore fresh grounds. While most of the albums we’ve listed so far have featured a predominantly guitar-based sound, Believe, Pattinson’s fifth solo album, brings a more high-profile lineup of musicians. The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with producer John Lepper (Miles Davis, John Mayer), who also co-wrote a number of the tracks with the former One Tree Hill and New Moon star. It’s no surprise that Sony would want to put an emphasis on the commercial appeal of this album, especially since it’s the first of its kind for the actor.
The result is an unabashed pop album that embraces a more high-profile and polished production value. The album opens with an epic piano ballad, “Wish You Were Here”, which evokes the spirit of legendary British pianist and composer Keith Fordyce. The cinematic quality of “Wish You Were Here” is something to behold. In fact, the entire album feels like it was recorded in a big Hollywood studio.
More piano-based ballads dominate the rest of the album, which is a change of pace for Pattinson, who’s generally avoided the instrument in favor of guitar. The change in focus serves the artist well on this front, as he effortlessly navigates both the instrument and the production value. One prime example is the album’s title track. While “Believe” may have been co-written by John Lepper, it features an almost perfect piano solo by Pattinson himself.
Pattinson’s songwriting credits are featured prominently on the album. As a lead artist, he also gets to indulge his love of writing pop songs throughout this album. “Somebody To Love” is a ballad that sounds like it could have been lifted from one of his movie soundtracks. “In My Bed” was co-written with British songwriter Charlotte David and it evokes the sound of the 1930s, when British composers were at the height of their popularity. The song also features a distinctive flamenco guitar solo by Juan Pablo Cruz. The final track, “What Matters Most” is a heartfelt ballad that is as effective as the other tracks on the album.
The sheer quality of the production values on this album is worth noting. While some may prefer the more vintage sound of some of the earlier albums, it’s clear that the polish and attention to detail on this album is meant to appeal to a broad audience. It’s also worth noting that the album artwork is absolutely stunning. If you’ve ever seen any of Pattinson’s movies, you know that his music and artwork is usually very distinctive. This time around, he’s decided to embrace the unique nature of his songs by making them the focal point of the artwork. The album’s designer, Jonny Wu, took inspiration from the colorful world of the “Twilight” films and brought that spirit into the album’s packaging.
While most of the focus has been on the music and production values on this album, it’s important to remember that the songs are mostly written by Pattinson. There are a few exceptions, like “Wish You Were Here”, which was co-written by the producer John Lepper. Still, it’s clear that this is the album that Pattinson meant to make. Is it worth buying?