Album review: Wolf Alice – “Blue Weekend”
During their eleven years, London-born alternative rock band Wolf Alice has proven themselves to be a band to follow. Their 2015 debut album, My love is cool, was greeted by fans and critics alike who celebrated the band’s potential, making comparisons to 1975, Radiohead and ABBA. Their second effort, 2017 Visions of a lifetime, was almost universally acclaimed, winning the Mercury Prize and the NME label of “Britain’s Best Band?” 100 percent. âTheir third album, 2021’s Blue weekend, takes what Wolf Alice built over their last two studio albums and raises the bar even higher, giving fans even more excitement, clarity and confidence.
The album is framed by “The Beach” and “The Beach II”, two tracks that share little in common beyond their names. Evocation of Shakespeare Macbeth with a haunting melody, the opening of the album “The Beach” crescendos slowly, introducing the theme of rupture which loosely runs through the whole album with a strong sense of foreboding. The fast and smooth guitar and synth of “The Beach II” is the last catharsis moment for the album, ending with a sense of calm contentment amid a strangely appropriate cacophony.
As part of the picture, there’s plenty to be found that shows off Wolf Alice’s range, as well as the vocal versatility of singer Ellie Rowsell. Nice smoother performances of “Safe from Heartbreak (If You Never Fall In Love)” folk guitar and Fleetwood Mac-esque sounds of “How Can I Make It Ok?” with the high energy of punk inspiration “Play the Greatest Hits” (a companion of Visions of a lifetime‘s “Yuk Foo”), Blue weekend offers the listener a lot of dimension. Pitting a breakup drama against a celebrity commentary, the band’s confidence shines through through their lyrics, with examples such as “I am what I am and I am good / And if you don’t like me, it isn’t. is not really relevant. “In the” Smile “tinged with hard rock. Unpretentious debut single “The Last Man on Earth” delivers an unpretentious punch with its commentary on man’s arrogance and passive tendencies, moving from a calm, calm start that progresses to a heavy rock sound. piano.
Blue weekend is a roller coaster of emotions, taking the listener through a story of relationships of all kinds – romantic, to fame, to the rest of the world – alternating between yearning and savoring the experiences. There’s a lot of their signature combination of shoegaze, grunge, and indie rock, now combined with touches of pop and classic rock. The turns taken on the album may surprise, but they do not shock; Wolf Alice has fused the different styles of music perfectly, creating an album that is more akin to an evocative, continuing collection of short stories rather than a single linear tale.
With each release, Wolf Alice creates expectations and each subsequent release, including Blue weekend– more than meets these expectations, promising more great things to come in the future. Blue weekend takes what makes Wolf Alice great and refines it into a tighter, more focused piece that explores those relationships, evoking the immediacy of emotion and the wisdom of distance depending on the track. This newfound focus and confidence brings Wolf Alice’s music back to Earth without losing that signature shoegaze sound, maturing their sound in the best possible way.