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CD of The Week

Week of 6/21/21

    Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend (Dirty Hit / RCA)

    UK rockers Wolf Alice have been making enticing guitar rock for years now. While not as expansive and roaring as their peers in The Joy Formidable, they’ve found their own groove and sound. The band became stars back home with their previous album, 2017’s Visions of a Life, which earned them the prestigious Mercury Prize. That puts the pressure on, which may be why it took four years until the arrival of Blue Weekend.

    Their third full-length begins with the calm before the storm of “The Beach.” The chiming, swaying “Delicious Things” is a traditional tale of the newcomer to Hollywood who gets pulled in by the dark side of L.A. Our first taste of Blue Weekend was “The Last Man on Earth,” which starts as a lovely piano ballad with swelling strings before Joff Odie’s guitar kicks in two-thirds of the way through.

    Current single “Smile” is a perfect example of the wide-screen rock that Wolf Alice does best, with frontwoman Ellie Roswell standing up for herself against anyone who tries to make her feel lesser. “Don't call me mad / There's a difference, I am angry /And your choice to call mе cute has offended mе.”

    Blue Weekend then takes a sharp turn right into the acoustic-based, Florence and The Machine-ish “Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love).” Meanwhile, the riot grrl rocker “Play the Greatest Hits” is a shot in the arm on Blue Weekend when things get a little too moody.

    Unfortunately, all the echoing reverb and multi-tracked production around Roswell’s voice means most of her lyrics are lost in the mix. If you want to feel kind of blue, but ready to rock at the same time, spend a weekend with Wolf Alice.

    Review by Joey O.

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