“Face of Pain” is the eighth track from Michael Charles Smith’s “In The Shadow”, an album which is designed to allow Smith to accept accountability for the failings of his past.
“Face of Pain” is a song which speaks to the despondency and dissatisfaction that Smith has felt in his life, but it’s also a hopeful and reflective effort given the fact that the story being told is in the past tense. The track is focused on a period of time which Smith has now overcome, and although its articulation means that it isn’t forgotten there’s a sense in which the artist is putting a chapter of his life behind him.
The track begins with sombre piano keys before leaning towards an alternative pop sound, and although it doesn’t have much in the way of a crescendo it’s held together by a combination of raspy vocals and percussive guitar. Lines like ‘the only thing that I will do now is spend my life erasing you’ are harsh but poetic, and overall the song is admirably personal but also vague enough to remain relatable.
“Face of Pain” is a fine example of what Smith’s music is about; it tackles real issues that he has faced without coming across as preachy or overdramatic, and its main triumph is that it’s able to convey a plethora of emotions to the listener without getting into specifics.