Review: The Last Dinner Party leaves nothing on the table with debut album

Photo courtesy of Spotify

By Kalena Reynolds | Staff Writer

British indie-rock band The Last Dinner Party released its first full-length album, “Prelude to Ecstasy,” on Feb. 2. The album is filled with 12 raw and rock-forward songs that have tucked-away hints of baroque-era classical music and lyrics that touch on a multitude of topics, including girlhood, sexuality and the male gaze.

The first word that comes to mind when thinking of the project is intentional. Everything from the order of songs to the cover resonates with deep thought and originality, which is a daring choice for a debut album.

The album begins boldly with an orchestral “Bach-like” title track involving a classical rendition of multiple other songs on the album. The song was composed by Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora and was intended to “set the scene” for the rest of the hauntingly unique record.

If the title track didn’t communicate the unapologetically honest nature of the album, then the beautifully descriptive lyrics and the avant-garde singles will. “Nothing Matters” is the debut single on the album and immediately caught listeners’ attention when the chorus went viral on TikTok. It now has over 32 million streams on Spotify.

Lead singer Abigail Morris wrote the song in a celebration of one of her past relationships, embracing the careless yet consuming nature of love and intimacy. While some critics argue that the most popular song on an album is typically just the most obtainable, this is not true for the maximalist dance hit.

The raw and appealing nature should come naturally to the album, as it was produced by James Ford — the producer of Depeche Mode, Arctic Monkeys, Blur and Gorillaz.

One of the album’s most angsty and rebellious songs is “Caesar on a TV Screen.” The song revolves around male privilege and power, and it repeatedly references the Russian city of Leningrad.

With lyrics like “I’m falling like the leaves on Leningrad, I follow your footprints when I can’t hold your hand” and “when I put on that suit, I don’t have to stay mute, I can talk all the time, cause my shoulders are wide,” the song was crafted to make a statement and catch listeners’ attention.

The album continues with a song called “Gjuha,” written by the band’s keyboardist and spoken entirely in Albanian. It reflects the band members’ shame of not knowing their native language fluently.

Other songs on the album, such as “Portrait of a Dead Girl” and “The Feminine Urge,” share the undertones of girlhood and the experiences of the feminine life while resting in an underlying intimacy through the sounds and instruments.

Each track on the album resonates with a danceable sadness that naturally insinuates life reflection on several topics. The songs are devastating but also peculiar and fresh, making the British band a recipe for new binge-worthy music.