Album Review Alvvays - Blue Rev4 Stars
Boy do Alvvays know how to make a broken heart sound ever so sweet.
Alvvays are as good as writing the perfect breakup ode as they are capable of penning the most romantic of all love songs. “Say it’s over, well (say it’s over) / Weekends alone / Does it get easier on your own?” pleads Molly Rankin, with increasing desperation on ‘Easy On Your Own?’, phrasing the statement as a question with an answer that is ultimately impossible to ever find. Alvvays’ third record massively expands the Canadian band’s intricate world of dreamy, shoegaze-inspired jangle-pop. These 14 tracks are so sonically rich with a multitude of textures, each listen peeling back just one measly layer; Molly’s vocal hooks and turns of phrase will remain in your brain days after the last listen. On ‘Blue Rev’, the band revisit what makes Alvvays albums so special - the sugary melodies, the aching yearning of some select lyrics, and the equally witty and deft verses of the others - before breaking it all down and building it back up with even more flavour. It’s an album where the band play with dynamics both sonically and lyrically; there’s dealing with fresh heartache (‘Tom Verlaine’); looking forward to a potential future moving to the country with a baby while admitting that looking ahead is still a terrifying thought (‘Belinda Says’ - the title a sly nod to Belinda Carlisle); and the excruciating ache of endless wondering: “Is she a perfect ten / Have you found Christ again?” (‘Velveteen’). ‘Blue Rev’ is the reflection of a band who know their strengths, keen to immerse the listener in their fantastical world of luscious dreampop that continues the legacy of the genre’s forebears – Big Star, Ride, The Jesus and Mary Chain - while always still injecting their own unique slant. The young love of ‘Archie, Marry Me’ might be interchanged with songs about the kind of heartbreak that only comes with getting older, but boy do Alvvays know how to make a broken heart sound ever so sweet.
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After five years away, Alvvays' third album "Blue Rev' speaks to the past, present and future of a band making their most ambitious music yet.
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