Album Review

Remi Wolf - Big Ideas

A record that stands up well against the high bar set by her debut, in both scope and ambition.

Remi Wolf - Big Ideas

“When it comes to making art, thinking is the devil,” says Remi Wolf, whose soulfully bizarro bedroom pop and buzzy, technicolour funk across debut record ‘Juno’ garnered critical acclaim. Unsurprisingly, then, follow-up ‘Big Ideas’ resists the cerebral even further, tumbling into glamorous imperfection and cacophonous garage-band pop that sits starkly against the corporate rigidity and rigmarole of modern pop. Celebratory horns and poking whistles on opener ‘Cinderella’ act as industry referees, calling Remi - pop’s most interesting and fearless batter - back to the pitch to stir things up again. The record’s singles, for the most part, are a rounded and suave blend of funk rock, but it’s the deep cuts that push Remi’s pop psychedelia to utter genius. 

At its most surreal, ‘Frog Rock’ is a noughties dirtbag blockbuster, while the three-track run through ghoulish Britpop on ‘Kangaroo’, to underwater electric guitar on ‘Pitiful’, to the sandwiching of Paramore-era punk between slices of reggae on ‘Wave’ is a mad spiral down a rabbit hole. It’s as if, amid industry suits and incessant touring, Remi has revisited and reinvented her drawing board completely. Yet, for all its oddity and rebellion, she always shines through with maniacal vocality, cathartic irony and reverie, a beaming and happy-go-lucky presence. She even manages to slip in a few glittering and zeitgeisty surprises - see the synthpoppy, feminine ‘Slay Bitch’, a feat of contemporary disco magic. But then, as she mumbles atop sex anthem ‘Toro’, it’s all just “magic and guitar” anyway; this is a record that stands up well against the high bar set by her debut in both scope and ambition. Her second, ‘Big Ideas’, does just what it says on the tin. 

Tags: Remi Wolf, Reviews, Album Reviews

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