I’ve never listened to a full album from Wolf Alice before, and for whatever reason I just didn’t expect much from this record. However, I actually found myself enjoying quite a bit of “Blue Weekend”.
I haven’t been as into newer dream pop or indie rock for a good bit, so that’s probably where my reservations came from, but “Blue Weekend” managed to stand out amongst their peers in a noticeable way. For one, the sound is immaculate. Every synth is lush, every texture is dreamy, every guitar is is bright, and the vocal harmonies are incredibly beautiful. While I’m on that note, Ellie Rowsell’s vocal performances are incredible throughout this album, being subtle an lowkey one moment, filled with intense angst the next, and swelling with emotion after that. While Wolf Alice
mostly compose dream pop and indie rock on this record, there are actually plenty of moments where it dives into chamber pop, folk music, and even ripping alternative rock, adding some nice variety to the tracklist. Everything sounds like the soundtrack for a young adult movie or a late night drive, and I mean that in a good way.
But what really separate this album from many newer dream pop records is the songwriting, where I can tell the band really focus on well crafted songs that have a journey throughout, and the lyrics and stories on here are actually very solid.It’s hard for me to explain why I haven’t fully embraced this record, as I really haven’t found a proper answer for why I don’t think this one of the higher upper tier records this year. There is a little bit of filler in between and I didn’t find the last few tracks as memorable as the majority of the record. But really the biggest note I have, and it feels like a cop out to say, is that it’s missing *something* that would make this listen truly special. Maybe it’s my lack of experience with their music or the record needs to grow on me, but I think something about this band needs to be a little bit tightened so they can make the next dream pop classic.
Overall, I think this is a solid record. Wolf Alice shows a lot of potential and I think they could make something great in the future. Until then, there’s plenty of things on “Blue Weekend” for me to enjoy while I wait.