Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool it Down: Review

It’s been 9-years since Mosquito, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ previous album, which continued to express musical growth, keeping to and elevating a sound akin to what we’ve known growing with the band. However, as we turn the bend and hit play on your musical devices, the past becomes the past. This new album, Cool It Down, is a personification of their greatness and history within the 2000s rock music scene that exploded in New York City, as they deliver excellence behind new sounds. It reflects growth, buoying new sounds that surpass expectations and leave you in a synth-fueled trance, where the mind gets tuned to the expansive layer you almost forget you may have just sat through the whole album. This symphonic experience makes you second guess your feelings about listening to it, as one may be too used to that esoteric synth beneath the rock aesthetic. It is the opposite. It echoes through your ear tunnels, creating rhythmic bliss that keeps you grounded in Karen O’s lyricism and vocals, as it beautifully emboldens the instrumentations beneath.

Like opening a box of fragrant pastries fresh out of the oven, the synths come at you with a direct punch of zeal that your ears and mind won’t forget, especially as you come to a close on a beautiful soliloquy that represents growth. “Mars,” like “Spitting Off The Edge of The World” and “Wolf,” are predominant moments that raise intrigue levels through a delicate layering of guitar, effect pedals, and varying synthesizers, which become central sonic themes as the tracks they finish and deliver have innate consistency. It makes the minor stumbles seen more like distant memories. Fortunately, the instrumental viscosity has these stumbles–more interesting orchestrations that shift from the norm relative to their identity–which in hindsight, are more performances that don’t necessarily work. “Lovebomb” does not work, compared to others. It’s ASMR-like, using simple words and colloquialisms to establish a mood without feeling overly multi-dimensional. 

The explosion of sounds that hits you on Cool It Down doesn’t necessarily give you sentiments reflecting tonal semantics if told since one doesn’t “cool it down” listening to the album. “Burning” levies the atmosphere with a focus on layering harmonics from the backing vocals that amplify this colorful, ethereal feeling that replicates an electronically charged instrumentation that would kill in a theatre like Carnegie Melon. Like a few tracks on the album, it’s mystifying with its approach to making you feel a darkened bliss, mirroring the dark club vibe without perturbing you. Though that’s the greatness of the album, it has a steady cadence allowing it to flow with whether it has a mellower, more intimate pace, or something crisp and rejuvenating like “Maps” off their debut Forever To Tell. It’s not wild to say that, Cool It Down is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ best work since their debut, though that bar isn’t exceedingly low. It’s a flurry of remarkable constructs that expands creatively; afterward, you’ll feel the need to keep it on repeat because its layers are out of this world, for lack of a better phrase.

As remarkable as the instrumentations are, the songwriting has its own complex, synergizing connectivity that keeps you from being flat-footed. It’s lyrically in tune with the atmospheric tones that shroud the final production. When “Different Today” begins to play, you get hit with a melodic force that invigorates the feeling you have when you’re with someone you love, almost like that sense where change revolves around growth. Like when this person is absent, that energizing feeling is lost, but that return has a livelier vibe. “Fleez” reinforces what I’ve been saying with the core aesthetic guiding you. The chorus and post-chorus contain these beautifully delivered lines that make you understand that feeling you’ve had listening. Karon O sings: “Fleez and me eating nuts in the leaves/That’s where we dance to ESG” and “Very moody, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah/(Very) Up, down and all around, baby,” respectively. It embodies a centralized sensation of blissful hope in the darkness; the rhythmic progression gives us something more than just the surface layer themes of growth. As Cool It Down closes, you leave with a rewarding experience worth a 9-year absence.

Cool It Down is magnificent. It’s something I won’t stop playing on repeat, especially with exuberant synths making it feel grander. I was almost left speechless, trying to find ways to find the words to say about how great it is, and I hope that translates to you. Let the synths take you to new worlds and allow the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to invigorate those tonal vibes that remedy you from the poor uses heard all year, like on Kid Cudi’s last album.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Pale Waves – Unwanted: Review

Turning back the clock with Unwanted, Pale Waves reinvigorates the sounds that hooked us with My Mind Makes Noises, which felt slightly faint on Where Am I? Instead of reeling towards general rock complexions, Pale Waves ignites their emotions and lets them ride like waves as they shift between chords and effects. The strings are transparent and potent, allowing the drums and synths to be the sandpaper smoothing out the rough edges. It’s gripping at various moments–other times, we’re vain to the sounds that aren’t as triggering and leave us humdrum with esoteric genericism in the pop-punk aesthetic blanketed over the album, and the slight side-turns into acoustics. Though they teeter in this direction, it centers on taste, and it didn’t hit the proper tastebuds; the few missteps can get glossed over by the sheer consistency heard compared to their last album. And that isn’t to say I haven’t had this on repeat–cause I have exponentially, further showing how easy it is to get lost within that realm of sounds.

The realized consistency in Unwanted is as potent as ever, keeping you enshrined in this confined temple of relativity where Heather Baron-Gracie’s captivating melodies and the band’s overall riotous instrument playing keep you glued as it comes from multiple angles. It’s immediate with “Lies” and its tremendous drop, creating an identity toward the emotive tenacity these tracks will deliver. There is angst, and their fiery limits aren’t confined, giving Baron-Gracie the range to evoke emotions fluidly. She doesn’t get invariably angered by situations, sometimes getting lost within existential thoughts that get reflective based on personal social experiences. But it’s when Baron-Gracie truly immerses herself with these feelings, which are reflective amongst the best tracks on the album. “Lies,” “Jealousy,” and “Alone” are some that come with a fierce punch, propelling the straps to grip you into your seat and rocking to these sentiments we are or aren’t focusing on, especially with the latter two. “Jealousy” ferociously captures that essence of jealousy Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” exhumed, just not as vanilla. The melodic strings and gripping drum patterns in the chorus bring out your inner emotional mosher, one where the body speaks on the production’s bravado. 

Unlike “Jealousy,” “Alone” reinforces a disdain for anyone who embodies an overly touchy persona and eagerness beneath that they can’t get beyond simply understanding someone’s preference to be alone. Heather Baron-Gracie exhumes these sentiments with personal integrity that you forget the universal appeal it brings; it’s akin to empowering anthems about being alone and striving, except it’s being alone, so she doesn’t have to deal with varying “repercussions.” Like she said in an interview with Apple Music: 

“I don’t think I’ve ever been as brutal as I am on this track. It’s about when you say no to someone and they just don’t leave you alone. So many times—in clubs, in bars, in goddamn Tesco—where someone comes up to you and they’re like, ‘Can I buy you a drink? Can I get your number?’ And you say, ‘Sorry, I’m not interested.’ And they still get all handsy and physical with you. Do you not get the message? Don’t touch me.”

– Heather Baron-Gracie

: there is an essence of being without becoming overly preachy, especially in the context of rejection songs. There is a balance that never downplays the themes, though not all tracks have gripping production, sometimes feeling like composites of other styles without adding anything distinguishingly new to set itself apart besides any catchiness within the chorus or melodies. 

Fortunately, we’re steering towards a triumphant set of tracks to close the album, especially as they imbue these exhilarating sounds that shift the parameters by allowing some of the simplicity to feed into the depth of the performances or the intricate production that steers you away from current pop-punk tones. “You’re So Vain” and “Reasons To Live” begin to ignite and exhume fumes of creative integrity. It’s pertinent to one’s enjoyment of the album as they slowly shift toward the sounds of Where Am I? except with stronger compositions that keep your ears glued. It caught me by surprise, with the final track finding itself on heavy rotation. Baron-Gracie has noted how negatively emotional Unwanted is and transcends the emotions loosely, like on “Clean,” which gives us some crisp, fun positivity where her sense of love gets explored physically and vocally. You hear and feel it when she sang: “I bang my hеad against the wall/Until I hear your voice/Yеah, I’ve come undone/I’m hooked and I’m withdrawn/And I don’t really care if it’s my fault,” as this composite of metaphorically intense love, and it’s delivered beautifully.

Amongst the wind of radiant consistency, some tracks minimally stunt progression or feel like a sonic retread of others that have done it better, which is the case with the more somber, acoustic-driven “The Hard Way” and “Numb.” They don’t sound like something special at first, as you get predominant lead-ins toward these crazy closers of rock bliss, but those lead-ins aren’t all effective and leave you feeling mum about the last 70 or so seconds of the tracks. “Only Problem” is not like them; it is one of these composites that feels like a poorly constructed throw away that doesn’t retread themes, instead sounding poor in comparison with what follows. These tracks have merit contextually lyrically, but the layering between vocals and production isn’t equally as strong, and that’s what keeps you engaged.

Unwanted is fantastic, albeit with a few hiccups along the way. It delivers what fans want and love and more, and from speaking to a few–post thought collection, which has been potent in our conversations. It keeps their formula intact as we shift in emotional range, becoming reflexive between vocals and instrumentations–we’re in a daze as we align with riotous melodies that make us feel heard during our inner personal jam session. And if you bypass the ineffective tracks, there is more to obtain from the sheer transitions within the pitch, style, and more, which will leave you with a rewarding listening experience.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Chvrches – Screen Violence: Review

Ever since Chvrches debut, they’ve had this elegant veil that has allowed them to differentiate from other synth-pop bands making music today. They know who they are, as opposed to consistently reworking their image after each album. It shows Chvrches confidence on both ends as frontwoman Lauren Mayberry and bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty have great synergy; more so today with the process behind recording their new album Screen Violence. Despite having to record in different locations, Chvrches envelop the whimsy delivered on their debut.

The synergy within Chvrches is effervescent on every song, even when it doesn’t land smoothly. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty possess an understanding, which allows them to have a similar wavelength for the sound that derives from hearing Lauren Mayberry’s lyrics. It has shown a distinct range in the production style, and one particular case — incorporating Robert Smith from The Cure. “How Not To Drown,” featuring Robert Smith, speaks on a time Lauren sincerely contemplated leaving the band as she felt like she was drowning from the pressure to produce. Fortunately, this didn’t end up being the case.

Like Chvrches’ past albums, the first half comes in strong before teetering into a blend of mediocrity and good. This time around, Chvrches keeps it going for two-thirds as they come with twists and turns on each track, diving deep into the roots of their influence — screen violence through three different perspectives. From “Asking For A Friend” to “Good Girls,” Chvrches come with a clear focus that allows each song to have individuality while fitting into the bigger picture.

Screen Violence’s loose concept takes tones and conventions from horror and noir films, specifically, between the 40s and 90s. The songs on Screen Violence still have the Chvrches DNA, particularly their balance of synths and live instruments, but they incorporate subtle changes to set a platform for them to breathe. However, the big difference comes in the way they direct the music to create a looming sense of fear and loneliness — two big themes. Of the two themes, loneliness speaks more from the context of the songs. One song, for example, “Final Girl,” takes the concept of the final girl trope in horror films and attributes it to Lauren Mayberry’s life, despite a lack of horror elements. 

Lauren Mayberry finds herself carrying burdening weight from everything that has culminated until now, as both an artist and female in Los Angeles. She puts herself in a scenario where she is the film’s final girl, going through hurdles of stress and trauma only to find herself at the butt end of a hunt/chase till the final scene. It buoys a double meaning, between having all eyes chasing her due to her status as an artist and as a beautiful female who men deem a sexual object instead of someone with feelings.

Despite a focused concept, it doesn’t bleed into their direction for the production. It is one of the rare cases where Chvrches find themselves less reliant on the loud and operatic synths and instead allowing themselves to free their mind with unique concepts like “California” and “How Not To Drown.” They contain the Chvrches DNA subtle to keep the attention of old and new fans who get hooked by the vibrant melodies. 

“California” does so to keep a focus on Lauren’s songwriting and themes — loneliness — it reflects the dark side of our starstruck dreams. We’ve heard songs about the glamour deriving from success; however, Lauren takes a different approach and gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to fail in Los Angeles, especially for someone whose home is MILES away. Chvrches juxtapose the lyrics with colorful percussion and dreamy guitar chords attuning the song to conventions of California Dreaming-like music. The production doesn’t fully encapsulate a sound we’d expect from the band, and instead, they show us the range sometimes hidden for a safer approach. 

“How Not To Drown” swims further away from Chvrches DNA, as it nixes an abundance of synths for a nuanced 80s new wave/punk rock sound that elevates Lauren Mayberry’s vocals to match with the incomparable Robert Smith. It is reminiscent of a song made by The Cure with modern tweaks, particularly in the blending of the guitar strings and percussion. It is the definitive highlight on the album, second to “Good Girls.”

On “He Said She Said,” the production goes from the standard synth-pop arrangements to the percussion and chords becoming the focal point. It builds up aggression as the whimsical guitar chords lead us to feel the panic attack nature from the production. It acts as a double entendre to one’s psyche in a time of isolation while implying a similar feeling that derives from gaslighting, which Chvrches have been privy to in the past. These double meanings are the cornerstone of Chvrches’ songwriting, as they find ways to eclipse the story into new territory. They take the known and break it apart to piece with the production, which is why you’ll hear similar melodies and harmonies. However, they embody the calculated nature of Chvrches’ creative process.

It isn’t uncommon for Chvrches to focus on bleak tones and concepts, but unlike some bands, they keep themselves from falling back into past norms that made their sophomore effort feel a bit redundant. It rarely happens in the first seven songs, like on “He Said She Said,” however, it becomes more apparent in the last three songs, which are fine. The first of two alternate between tempos while aligning with past styles done by Chvrches. The songwriting is clever and is the highlight of these songs, particularly “Nightmares,” but lacking the same impact as previous songs.

Screen Violence is Chvrches best album since their debut, The Bones Of What You Believe, offering enough to retain on rotation those days you’re feeling down. The luscious synths, and relative themes, and songwriting bring you closer as you feel the synergy. It is my second favorite album of theirs and a definite recommendation of mine.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend: Review

Continuing to exhume effervescent arrays of shoe-gaze and punk rock music, Wolf Alice finds themselves underneath blue lights as they deliver a thought provoking and emotionally gripping shoe-gaze and punk rock on Blue Weekend, the follow up to the underwhelming Visions of a Life. Like the namesake of the album, its cognitive approach deals with the emotions of the listeners; particularly those with a depth filled understanding of feeling blue. There are tracks that fully gravitate in an unknown direction, and eventually find themselves coming back full circle as the themes vary, but one sentiment stays true. The songwriting and performances of the band keep Blue Weekend on a steady track as it buoys between shoe-gaze and post-punk overtures, while maintaining their brand of authenticity.

Blue Weekend is unlike some of their previous work. There is a steady incline in the quality of the production where they continue to take elements of dream pop and post punk and further create these spacious and riveting rock tracks. Front woman, Ellie Roswell, brings this kinetic energy to her performances, which takes a slight turn as it become one of the unsung hero of their work; specifically in the way she delivers the emotional veracity based on the construct, like standout “Play The Greatest Hits,” which is fueled with angst and punk flair or the melancholic and, at times, dreamy beach themed sounds on the intro and closer – “The Beach.” 

The production is a little more sonically pellucid, as it doesn’t tend to waver into wrought complexities and stoned one-note productions too much; even though there are minimal moments wherein the simplicity isn’t as engaging, like the intro section of “How Can I Make It Ok?” The same goes for the “Lipstick On The Glass.” They are the weakest links on the album, but never true deterrents with the contextual meshing it brings on both spectrums. It has this slow – minimalist buildup before it becomes these unique instrumentations.

Having these buildups isn’t that uncommon on Blue Weekend. A lot of the time it works because the songwriting grips you hard through the mixing and engineering of the vocal layers, which elevates the production’s tonal direction more. In turn, within the verses, your ears get eschewed with these vibrant metaphors, elusive Shakespearean quotes, and thoughts about the arrogance of humans, all the while realizing you also just read Vonnegut. It is like how “Play the Greatest Hits,” takes the crazy emotions one gets from hearing their favorite artist’s greatest hits and forgetting your worries as you unabashedly dance around in the kitchen, as Ellie Roswell would sing-scream on the track. Unfortunately it’s one of two tracks that felt like it could have been longer.

Blue Weekend finds itself in a constant mediation in what drives the track’s voice, both figuratively and literally, as the production’s effervescent layering of the instruments overwhelms half of the vocal performances from Ellie Roswell. But it’s to Blue Weekend’s benefit as it constantly grasps you with these captivating instrumentations, leaving you with an urge to flip on repeat and start to process over. This time you get lost in the songwriting and visceral imagery from the band. As you continue on this journey the varying tracks that emote the kind of blue you are feeling at the moment. These flow in unison with other themes on the album, ranging from relationships, motivated depression, and existential crises, amongst others, like on the tracks “Delicious Things,” and “Smile.”

“Delicious Things” broken down instrumentation plays coy with elongated and beautiful patterns on the production. Ellie Roswell writes this beautiful narrative where she feels displaced, the world is upside down, and she is around strange, but familiar, people. She is trying to mask her longing for home. “Smile,” on the other hand, eschews from conceptions as Ellie Roswell delivers a vocal performance that carries with it a rhythmic hip-hop soul from the way she makes the verses flow in a tangent similar to those of the genre. She isn’t singing as much on the verses and saving it for the transitional points like the choruses and bridges where the atmospheric and riveting performance makes you forget what the smile masks.

Blue Weekend is tame compared to past works, but it doesn’t let it become the detractor from creating these bright and clear depth of the songwriting/vocal performance and production. You’ll find yourself discovering tracks that hit you harder than others and that is fine, as the varying themes and structures of the tracks only share one common numerator, a flashing and old blue light overhead flickering that coats the tracks on the album.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Aly & AJ Brings Many Summer Vibes Early On Their New LP: Review

We’ve been 14 years removed from the release of Aly & AJ’s last album, Insomniatic, but they’ve always been there. For a few years they made music as 78Violet and went back to Aly & AJ in 2015, and just in time for a new rise in popularity from Tik Tok. And as years progressed, since 2007, they haven’t deviated from electrifying pop rock, but has been built upon throughout subsequent EPs. However, their new album, A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun, brings that eclectic array of indie-pop rock and synth-pop that carry a sonically thematic summer coating with the electronic-instrument overlays. Though some choices may come off misguided in production choices, there is a lot to digest and love from this after it gets an illustrious first play through.

Going about it once through, you’re mostly handed an eclectic mix of songs that transition well and keep you flowing with a mood, but within those beautiful instrumentations there is depth in the themes Aly & AJ evoke emotionally. There are songs that bring a joyous and fun energy and others that take the tempo and pacing down a notch to deliver these beautiful ballads with strong vocal performances from the two. “Slow Dancing,” for example, keeps it simple as a ballad by relying on fewer instruments in sequences, like the soft transition from the various string instruments to a subtle flute. It ends on a rhythmic solo that keeps reminding you how talented these two are. With the gap between albums and the slightly quiet releases of their EPs, some might not remember; but as well they were given the boost from Tik Tok that popularized some of their older and newer music.

A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun is significantly different from Insomniatic in its approach to the pop genre. The music of Insomniatic gave us a new synth pop rock identity for Aly & AJ, while maintaining the rock from their debut. Unlike Insomniatic, there is more of an identity on this follow-up. The essence of what the feeling of a calm sunset with your thoughts on a California beach is felt and they let the instruments guide the atmosphere, specifically with the synthesizers. Though they rarely go into oblique routes sonically, the little things they add bring more depth to the song, like on “Stomach.” It opens with a folk inspired arrangement of strings before switching into a beautiful electro-pop ballad and giving us the best song on the album.

There are many bright spots to A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun, like glamorous synth-pop songs in “Paradise,” and “Don’t Need Nothing.” But they don’t match the visceral strength and nuances of their more pop rock songs, emphasis on rock. These songs have the most consistency on the album as the mixing gives it a slight garage feel in the way the electric guitar is mixed more faintly than other instruments at times. “Listen!!!” in particular, brings a semi-high motored percussion and electric guitars shredding, further bringing in that rock backbone to this potent anthem, all while transitioning smoothly from these vibrant synths in the opening. 

The album rarely teeters on mediocrity. Sometimes it comes from interesting, but poor execution of some of the instrumental decisions, like the sonically one note “Symptom Of Your Touch,” or the electronic synths and modulations at the end of “Lucky To Have Him.” There are fine vocal performances on the former, but the instrumentation and synths are boring. However, the latter of which starts off on a high note before teetering into a latent closer, but fortunately the track that proceeds it, is a monstrous effort at blending synth pop with simple rock structures, like the small moments of isolated electric guitar notes in between an elegant cohesion of percussion and strings. 

This mouthful of an album does what the title suggests on the bare surface, but within these illustrious songs and not so great songs, the thematic material holds a lot of weight when you go back and break apart meaning. Like aforementioned songs, “Slow Dancing,” and “Listen!!!” break apart conceptions, from wanting simplicity over extravagance or unique details that show a relationship breaking apart and the fear of tackling it head on. The themes don’t sway away much from relationships, love, and California, but there is one constant and that is their ability to naturally bring these elegant vocal performances and great songwriting. 

A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun is contrasting growth in a positive way for Aly & AJ as they deliver an array of songs for varying summer moods and beyond. From infectious melodies and instrumentations, there is a lot of love and take away from this, though after taking off your nostalgia goggles. It hits many strides at various angles, cementing their recent rise in the pop culture zeitgeist with fantastic music.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Pale Waves – Who Am I?: Review

In 2018 UK Gothic/Emo – Synth Rock band Pale Waves made noise on the rock charts with their eclectic instrumentations and overtly catchy – albeit depressive lyrics that could make those in the dumps elevate their serotonin through dancing and singing. Their debut My Mind Makes Noises had an arrangement of lush – noisy rock music and with lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie’s unique songwriting and melodies elevated their attention in the music world. But their follow up Who Am I? takes a step back from relying on synth melodies and delivers tracks that are tamer in instrumentation, but still carries that relativity to keep fans coming back for more.

Who Am I? has recurring undertones of 90s garage/grunge rock, but when it intertwines with the goth-like lyricism makes it feel like a time capsule of something out of the very late 90s. In ways it is very similar to the kind of emo-rock artists like Avril Lavigne was releasing at the time, the only difference is that Pale Waves usually have more to say in their words and instruments.  

Tracks like “Fall to Pieces,” shows a perfect meshing of the alternating 90s/00s punk infusions with a little modernization from slight echo modulation. They keep up the aesthetic with a very 90s music video. Unlike My Mind Makes Noises, there is no hyper stylization in the aesthetic and though it causes some stepbacks it doesn’t always hinder Who Am I? 

Pale Waves continues a streak of eloquent melodies and hypnotic instrumentations that lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie and the rest of the band delivers. Even if it doesn’t have the audacious dreamy mysticism that made the first album such a synth-powerhouse, it tries to deliver through grittier and unflinching instrumentations. But that doesn’t mean the album is devoid of these moments, as tracks “Easy,” and “She’s My Religion,” are reminiscent of the kind of sound from their debut. 

Unfortunately Who Am I? let’s most of its tracks pass by swiftly where at times you feel like this one huge orchestration, though the first half is full of tracks about relationships and heartbreak. But as the album starts to dive into the second half of tracks, the themes and writing begins to hollow out.  

This is not the case for the standout “You Don’t Own Me,” a monstrous thrasher of a hard rock anthem for a band that rarely delivers notes on that front. Heather Baron-Gracie’s songwriting is at its strongest here with the dynamic as it tackles themes of mental health and the perception behind the notion – “You have a pretty face, you should smile.” 

A lot of the themes Pale Waves work with deal with mental health – as told by a goth, it helps get over the simplistic choruses on the album. Though the instrumentation shift during the choruses allows for Heather’s melodies to take center stage, you tend to forget the simplicity. It was My Mind Makes Noises biggest crutch, as it keeps you remembering the catchiness.

However, the writing of her verses is always strong and Who Am I? for the most is broken down to let Heather flex. But nobody is purely perfect in one area, as evident with the track “Tomorrow” which falters into the kind of hokey “universal empowerment track for the fans” category. . It’s cringe empowerment-like verbiage that doesn’t feel like a lot of thought was put into the execution. It isn’t like the elegant and simple “She’s My Religion,” the excellent anthem about same sex love. But for some they will find enjoyment, and it’s a cool of the band to use the mainframe of it as a way to speak to them through each song. It is slightly disheartening since the instrumentation feels wasted, with it’s pure rock core deriving from Ciara Doran’s drumming and Huge Silvani’s electric riffs. 

For the things that Who Am I? lacks there is a good amount of tracks to keep you zooming anytime you sit through it. Pale Waves take a step back in their sonic progression as the dreamy synth rock seems like the direction where they can challenge themselves past certain limitations as artists. 

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.