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Label: Dirty Hit / Interscope Records

Release Date: February 12, 2021

Rating: 96%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I have been going around writing a review for this disc and to be honest, I am not sure why.  This one has stuck with me since first listen.  I was trying to wrap my head around all the pop sensibility in the tracks that seems to morph each time I listen through the disc.  I have new favorites every time I listen with one exception, but we will get to that eventually.  Disc opener” Change” is a different piece at the onset, but quickly shifts gears and gets covered by a poppy slightly sexually charged blanket that keeps you warm and fuzzy while the song weaves in and out of the different textures that are in the musical accompaniment.  “Falls To Pieces” has a cool riff that opens the track, and the contagious vibe of the song takes over shortly after, begging you to dance and sing along as the vocals, guitars, and rhythm section come together and deliver the pop goods.  “Easy” is a song that seems to bridge some of the heavier tracks with the lighter groove and sound of other tracks on the collection.  The vocals that help the track transition from verse to chorus and back again are fun to listen to and even more fun to sing along with.  “Tomorrow” is a different track than most on the disc through the verse, but the wall of sound layered vocals that grace the chorus reel the song in and help it fit into the groove and vibe of the whole collection.  The tempo and force of the bottom end get the foot tapping and head slightly banging as this song cranks through its 2:37. “I Just Needed You” has a great guitar sound draped on the verse and intro that allows bass lines to peek through the mix and the vocals to float across the track.  The timekeeping is solid and creates a solid foundation for the track.  Disc closer and title track “Who Am I?” is a haunting and ethereal track that dug into my head, heart, and soul the first time I heard it and it gets better with each listen.  The emotionally charged lyric and vocal are beautiful and painful at the same time while the musical accompaniment seems to twist the sound and vibe to match each enunciation and heart felt word.  This track alone is worth the price of admission and has firmly planted itself in my playlist.

“She’s My Religion” was the first track I heard from the collection and the slightly darker lyric and vibe drew me in instantly.  The cadence of the verse lulls you into a comfort zone and the chorus seems to explode and deliver the lyric and vibe at the heart of the track.  The song is a great listen with each pass through the disc.  “Wish U Were Here” is another song that seems slightly out of place at time sonically, but when the song is listened to as a whole as a track and as an integral part of the story told on this opus of love, heartbreak, sexuality, and more, it just fits.  No sense in analyzing it… just jump on the melody and enjoy the ride.  “You Don’t Own Me” is a cool track that has a slightly ethereal feel to it during the intro and verse, but the song comes to life at the chorus and the track begs you to throw caution to the wind and dance along to the catchy melody and musical tapestry.  “Odd Ones Out” unfolds with a great duet of the vocals and an acoustic guitar that has as much punch and power as any of the other tracks on the disc.  The chorus is lush and full of energy without getting aggressive or overpowering.  This is what I imagine goth pop would sound like if there was such a thing.  “Run To” delivers a heavy dose of pop sensibility and twists it with some minor punk nuances and tosses in some cool rhythm section on the verse that seems to take the track to another level.  This one seems to get stronger with every beat and note.  I am not sure how these guys stayed off my radar this long, but I for one intend to keep riding the Pale Wave as long as they invite us along for the fun.

Tracklisting: Change – Falls To Pieces – She’s My Religion – Easy – Wish U Were Here – Tomorrow – You Don’t Own Me – I Just Needed You – Odd Ones Out – Run To – Who Am I?






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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