“Falling Home” is not the typical Pain of Salvation album. Then again, maybe there’s no such thing as typical when it comes to this band. The album was nearly finished prior to leader Daniel Gildenlöw contracting necrotizing fasciitis. It meant that the album had to wait until Daniel had fully recovered, which thankfully he has. While being an “acoustic” album, “Falling Home” is not like Pain of Salvation’s previous acoustic album, the live “12:5.” Instead, the album is a “re-imagining” or revamping of the band’s music, versus being a stripped-down version.
The track list reveals that it’s not just the songs you’d assume would translate well acoustically, like “Chain Sling” or “To the Shoreline.” It’s songs like the opener “Stress” and the next track “Linoleum” that show exactly how twisted the songs can be if given a chance to be that way. Add in two covers, one being a version of “Holy Diver” that only Pain of Salvation would have the balls to try, and the other being a cover of the Lou Reed song “Perfect Day,” which is one of the best tracks on the album. There’s even one new track, the title song, which closes out the album in perfect fashion.
The album shows the underlying melodies that some of these songs possess. Particularly, the trio of songs from “Scarsick” (“Mrs. Modern Mother Mary,” “Flame to the Moth” and “Spitfall”) seem to have a brand new life and more vitality than ever. “Spitfall” seems to benefit from a “re-examination” with spoken word verses that allow the melodically strong chorus to sound even bigger than ever.
“Falling Home” will perhaps be remembered for the event that occurred during its creation, but because of that event, it serves as a celebration of this band and its popular and engaging leader. “Falling Home” is what music should be: fun, beautiful and honest.