10 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

An album of deeply moving, optimistic, atmospheric synth-pop.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

An album of deeply moving, optimistic, atmospheric synth-pop.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

agentsquirrelly ,

Big advocate for this band in the US Northwest

I wear my t-shirt from 2014 Seattle show all the time, talk them up every chance I get ... I came of age in the '80s and, with each year, I find fewer musical acts that impress me the way bands back then did. The only two that consistently break away from their peers are Phantogram and, even more so, The Jezabels. The Jezabels give me hope in so many directions: music, feminism, the future of the world. But, of course, if you're reading this in the three and a half months before their third album is to be released, then you probably already feel the same way (or else you're a member of The Jezabels -- if so: Hi! See you in the Pacific Northwest in 2016!)

The Brink took some getting used to, since it was subtler than what had come before, but it quickly became my favorite album of the year. With "Come Alive," I'm getting a return-to-the-past vibe (not unlike the last, unfairly-maligned album by a band that, instrumentally, I feel should be cited more often as an antecedent of The Jezabels: U2). The programed opening is reminiscent of the techno turn the Yeah Yeah Yeahs took with It's Blitz! But then Haley Mary proceeds to out-Siouxsie Sioux Karen O, as the whole band lifts "Come Alive" into serious Peepshow territory. Or should I say Dark Storm territory? Also, the video is awesome -- harkening back not just to the classic A-Ha one, but a time when artistic music videos were a much bigger part of culture.

I can't wait to hear the rest of the album and to rope as many people as I can to see them live!

claws at dawn ,

Let this not be goodbye.

First of all, this album is not by any means bad, and maybe on the fifth playthrough it'll click and I'll like it just as well and come back and change this review. I hope that, because this band is one I listen to almost daily. I adore their work up to now, and I suppose I'd be happy with "more of the same, forever."

Alas, that's not how artists work. They grow, they change, and they explore new areas. In this case, they've abandoned the resonant guitar for synth-pop backing that sounds (to me) a lot more soulless and common than the soaring melodies of their previous work. While it's quite possibly the best version of that "corporate machine music" style, it's a direction I hope they don't embrace forever (like Smashing Pumpkins and a few others did, abandoning the sounds that made them unique.)

I get that this album carries themes on synthetic femininity, that it's even called "Synthia", and that the musical choice of using more synth-pop feeds into that theme in a way that perhaps pure lyrics would not have been able to convey. I see what they did with all that. But I can't help feeling like my anxious waiting for a new album by one of my top 3 bands paid off in an experiment, that (while masterful in its own way), just didn't sate the hunger. I find myself hoping that the style was intended to carry the themes like a concept album, and that future songs will return to the old.

TheGits ,

:(

Seemed to have lost their edge…. sounds like the watered down lovechild of Goldfrapp and Karen O.

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