Recommend if you like: Joni Mitchell and Joni Mitchell accessories

Expectation: I don’t really know anything about Weyes Blood. Apparently she is  folk rock artist and this is her third album. Cool.

TRACK-BY-TRACK

  • Diary – There’s not really anything wrong with centering a song around a piano arpeggio. It sounds pretty, but its just not very interesting. The impact of this choice is only accentuated by its placement on the album; the rhythm is so regular, and the chord progression so predictable, that the listener subconsciously assumes they’ve basically heard this album before, underselling the genuinely interesting project to come. In the middle of the track list this song would just be forgettable, but as an opener it fails miserably.
  • Used to Be – Boring. I know that’s bad criticism, but I can’t even stay focused the whole way through this song to think of anything better.
  • Be Free – A nice acoustic track, where Weyes finally sweeps back the curtain and reveals the shrine to Joni Mitchell she built in her living room (Okay, its not like she sounds exactly like her, but its a very clear influence).
  • Do You Need My Love – The melody here is straight Muse, with occasional shifts into Christmas carol, then later, a Boston-esque organ leads into a very Muse bridge.
  • Generation Why – There’s a lot of Joni Mitchell influence going on here, but I’m okay with it. Weyes has a great voice for that style of singing, and I’m all for a newer artist taking up JM’s mantle.
  • Can’t Go Home – The gospel-influenced harmonies sound fantastic, with the synths underneath giving them a very modern sound. Just a gorgeous track.
  • Seven Words – Another very retro melody, this time with an almost Harry Nilsson feeling to it. The gentle swells in the instrumentation and backing vocals are just right, and I’m all for slide guitar making a comeback.
  • Away Above – The intro to this song belongs in a war movie. Its just the right blend of sweet and fragile sounding to soundtrack deep psychological trauma.
  • Front Row Seat – Might just be a Erlking remix. I have no idea why its there.

Overall: The album’s sound ranges from forgettable folk to blatant Joni Mitchell worship, but the latter is really well done, so I’m okay with it. The album could probably be trimmed down from 44 minutes to 30-35 without losing anything, and the sound is somewhat homogeneous, but overall it was a good project. The kind of album worth listening to at least once if only to pick your favorite tracks and throw them into a playlist somewhere.

Score: 5/10

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