To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
When the best Albums of the Year are listed in various locations there are always a handful that come bubbling to near the top of most listings including one or two that have completely passed me by. This album is one that I had missed, and it features highly in many critics reviews very favorably, so I was tempted into buying it.
It is the 2nd album by Phoebe Bridgers, a young singer songwriter who is based in California. The songs are complex, the lyrics are sometimes rather opaque, and the general feel is of someone who is troubled and unsettled. The production is quite elaborate, including strings and horns on some tracks. with some high profile guests including Jim Keltner on drums and Conor Oberst on vocals appearing on selected tracks. It is not an immediate poppy record, but rather complex, and one that definitely takes time to assimilate.
Having listened to it half a dozen times, I am still getting to grips with what is on offer, but it is slowly growing on me. The artwork within the CD booklet consist of black pencil sketches to accompany the lyrics of each song with some detailed fantasy and macabre images, as dense and strange as some of the music. It is tuneful, but not with singalong hooks, and generally rather downbeat and a bit melancholy. The lyrics make for intriguing reading, a complex individual mixing day to day events with a fantasy world. Her voice does tend to hold your attention, sometimes a bit whispy and out of kilter, other times more direct. Some of the songs are more folky in places, but at other times the full on arrangement rock out, and the album builds up to end in a complex crescendo with everything thrown into the mix.
I am still making up my mind on this one, there is lots to get to grips with. She is obviously a talented individual who has created a fascinating album that is strange, distinctively her own sound and work, but rather complex and elaborate. A lot of promise is shown, but my overall feeling is she is trying a bit too hard to be different Maybe stripping things back to simpler basics might reveal more and be just as enjoyable and more enlightening than the rather dense arrangement employed here.
It will be fascinating to hear what she comes up with next.