Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Amazon's Black Friday Sale Begins: See What's On Offer

Amazon's Black Friday Sale is finally here. Here are some of the best deals on now.
We've had our fingers poised over our keyboards long enough in anticipation of Amazon's Black Friday Sale, which went live at midnight and will last until 25 November.

Laura Jean - Devotion Music Album Reviews

Laura Jean - Devotion Music Album Reviews
The Australian folk-turned-pop singer revisits her eccentric, romantically unfulfilled teen years on an album that reaches for the coming-of-age immediacy of artists like Lorde and Taylor Swift.

Laura Jean opens her fifth album, Devotion, with a spectacular orchestral flourish—the kind that might signal the beginning of a dream sequence in an old movie musical. She sings as if in a daze about stolen glances and trepid desire, her words lifted skyward by synthetic strings and weightless, arpeggiating piano. The transportive song, “Press Play,” signals that listeners should rid themselves of any assumptions regarding the record’s grounding in Jean’s current reality.

The 36-year-old Australian folk-turned-pop singer long ago reached an age at which the episodes recounted in “Press Play,” involving “popular girls” and watching crushes stare out of school bus windows, faded from her day-to-day life. But Jean wrote Devotion as a tribute to her teenage years, a time when she was, by her own description, “eccentric” and “romantically-unfulfilled.” Throughout the album, she revisits her nascent sexuality and formative obsessions without glossing over her younger self’s complex emotional life, the way adult artists often do when depicting teens. Devotion is nostalgic by its very nature—yet, at its best, the album captures the experiences of first love and lust with remarkable immediacy, rather than the fuzzed-out romanticism of hindsight.

Jean’s retrospective gaze is especially sharp on “Girls on the TV,” which narrates a childhood friendship with a girl she calls “Ricky.” In adolescence, Ricky weathered her share of storms—bullying, drugs, sexual harassment—and Jean recounts them with both anguish and fierce optimism. Other songs on the album lack such robust narratives, but the vibrance of Jean’s storytelling is consistent; she has a way of surfacing small, unexpected details that often say more about a moment than endless exposition can. It’s a skill she shares with some of the best chroniclers of teen romance. When she sings, “I smell the humidity of the concrete,” while describing a budding dalliance on “Northerly,” she taps into the same sensory bliss that makes the opening lines of Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” so captivating. Lorde has praised Devotion’s lead single, “Touchstone,” for its eloquent “communication of the spooky, all-consuming nature of feminine love”—a subject the track shares with some of Lorde’s own songs, like “Writer in the Dark.”

Swift and Lorde documented their respective comings-of-age from different corners of the youth-obsessed pop space, and it’s fitting that Jean’s embrace of this same subject matter finds her straying from her folk roots, in favor of more pop-oriented sounds. When it comes to instrumentation, the transition feels natural: Jean’s voice is light enough to blend in with the pillowy synths she introduces and nimble enough to keep pace with upshifted percussion.

There are moments, however, when pop magic proves elusive. The success of songs like the ones on Devotion (and Fearless, and Melodrama) is often determined by the strength of their hooks. Pushed to write slicker, stickier tracks than ever before, Jean sometimes comes up short. At times, her attempts at lyrical simplicity yield extreme reductiveness: On “Which One Are You?,” she splits humanity into a series of binaries, then dreamily wonders which group her paramour falls into. Reaching for universal resonance, she grasps clichéd language instead.

In chronicling teen romance, Jean has taken on one of pop culture’s most commodified, trope-laden subjects. But it’s only when she leans into specificity and idiosyncrasy, rather than single-mindedly courting wide appeal, that she captures the spectacular novelty that makes young love worth revisiting in the first place.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Does Amazon's New FireTV Stick 4K Do It All

HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos... Yup!
It seems like every year a new format comes along to make all our "old" gear obsolete. For audio video afficionados, those latest formats include Dolby Atmos immersive sound, and three different flavors of High Dynamic Range for enhanced picture quality. The three HDR flavors currently on the market include HDR 10 (the most common), HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ promise better picture quality than standard HDR 10 by using something called "dynamic meta data." Basically they're able to shift around the required storage bits on a scene-by-scene basis to get the best dynamic range out of movies and TV shows that are encoded in the format.

Amazon Echo Plus (Second-Gen) Review

The second-gen Amazon Echo Plus is shorter, louder and better-looking than ever. What's not to like? Here's our review.
Should I Buy The Amazon Echo Plus (2nd-gen)?
The new Echo Plus offers a radical redesign compared to the original, ditching the plastic body for a fabric mesh housing that helps the speaker blend into the home environment. It’s not only better-looking either, as a larger speaker and tweeter provide improved audio quality and Dolby Play 360 audio support helps fills the room with music. What’s not to like?

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: The Best Cheap Fitness Tracker Money Can Buy

The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is the best cheap fitness tracker we’ve seen. Read our Mi Band 2 review to find out what’s new in this excellent-value budget activity tracker.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi Band 2?
With a new OLED screen the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 offers better value than ever. We’d like to see better integration with third-party apps, but at this price the Mi Band 2 is impossible to fault.

Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse Best-Value Activity Tracker Review

You will not find an activity tracker that offers better value than Xiaomi's Mi Band Pulse. We put the upgraded Mi Band to the test in our Xiaomi Mi Band 1S review.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse?
With a tougher band addressing our issues with the original, and a new heart-rate sensor bringing it into line with rival activity trackers, you quite simply won't find a better-value fitness band than the Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse. It still falls down on social interaction, apps and its use of a proprietary charging cable, but given the price we can accept these shortcomings.

Apple MacBook Air 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Review

The MacBook Air has seen a major redesign, but how does it compare to the excellent Surface Laptop 2? We find out and help you choose which one to buy.
Should I Buy The MacBook Air (2018) Or Microsoft Surface Laptop 2?
These two laptops offer plenty of features and aesthetics that make them desirable. If you’re a Windows fan then buy the Surface, otherwise the new MacBook Air is a solid workhorse.

Like Fan Page