‘Shrines’ is a euphoric treat in its own right, made all the more thrilling by its heady potential.
Shrines often operates like a series of paintings, each of its pieces a variation on a theme, the full breadth of the artist’s vision only realized within the context of the whole.
Shrines is not about range, instead offering subtly different versions of a single, near-perfect idea.
Shrines is sure to solidify its fan base while not necessarily changing the minds of those that had written them off.
There are some moments on Shrines where Purity Ring falls back on some of witch-house’s less-lovely tendencies, but those moments are entirely forgivable, given the totality of vision and the strength of execution throughout the rest of the record.
Ignore the undertones of James' lyrics and you'll find an album that provides a fair few moments of pop brilliance.
Without compromising their rustic, Grimm fairytale undertone, they’ve turned in a chromed, hi-tech pop album.
Shrines isn’t trying to capitalize on some moment where rapid hi-hats and deep bass mix with dream-pop vocals; it manipulates two elements to make something malleable, elusive, sexual.
There is something so deft about this LP that you can’t help but feel that it is more than merely a by-product of its kooky genesis.
The record largely blurs together into a gloriously inscrutable haze, but certain songs resonate as sundry, singular experiences.
Purity Ring has crafted an album in Shrines that stands head and shoulders above the works of their peers.
Shrines isn't perfect, but it's a bold debut and one that hints of potential greatness to come.
As it stands, Shrines is a fine debut, full of lighter-than-air synth pop that manages to be dark, sparkling, innocent, and knowing all at once.
The contrast between Purity Ring's two halves is special and compelling, but Shrines goes over best when Roddick's reverent sound and James' lustful fury synchronize and break you off properly, womb-stem-style.
Shrines melds the blurry mesmerism of Tri Angle acts like Holy Other and Balam Acab with slow-pitched R&B reclines and the kind of artfully-constructed but spacious pop of 4AD's second phase heyday.
Shrines holds skyward a handful of some of the finest offerings Planet Pop can muster in 2012, yet as an “album experience” it ultimately fails to merit a new religion.
That sense of distance permeates the music: dark, mutable, likably repetitive synth whirr that recalls artfully creepy bands like the Knife.
Purity Ring is trying to do too much, and true to the less-is-more adage, the busier Shrines gets, the emptier it feels.
|# 21 -||Beats Per Minute|
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|# 28 -||Consequence of Sound|
|# 21 -||DIY|
|# 41 -||Exclaim!|
|# 46 -||FACT Magazine|
|# 25 -||Gigwise|
|# 50 -||NME|
|# 37 -||No Ripcord|
|# 46 -||Pazz & Jop|
|# 24 -||Pitchfork|
|# 71 -||PopMatters|
|# 9 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 41 -||SPIN|
|# 23 -||Spinner|
|# 29 -||Stereogum|
|# 15 -||The Fly|
|# 30 -||The Line of Best Fit|
|# 24 -||Time Out London|
|# 25 -||Under the Radar|