July 21 saw the release of Australian musician Vera Blue’s second studio album, ‘Perennial’, – an album that encompasses a ton of different feelings that is sure to evoke a strong sense of reflection in its already increasing listeners. Production-wise the album is full of oneiric echo-driven verses and contrastingly heavy choruses. The instrumentation is pure bliss throughout the record, notably the rhythm section which is as versatile and dynamic as it is intricate and choppy due to its interpolation of hand-claps. samples of spinning tops and even the occasional dubstep chorus which can often duplicitously draw you into an anti-climax due to the restrained level of tension found in the lack of crash-cymbals. Melodic acoustic guitar sections also appear sporadically throughout certain tracks yet it is very much a record that takes modern electronic instrumentation to the max with a high level of superlatively executed sophistication. ‘Said Goodbye to Your Mother’, an acoustic ballad interestingly placed in the middle of the album is a particular track that I was very moved by. The song ‘Lady Powers’ seems to be garnering an awful lot of attention at the moment but for me it isn’t anything compared to the wondrous simplicity and lyrical irony of ‘Magazine’, a track that just oozes a marvellous display of prowess and passion. ‘We Used To’ is a haunting ballad that is really quite heart-breaking and holds a lot of drama. One particular impressive structural quality to many of the tracks is the verse-chorus dynamics that have the ability to change the mood in almost a second, making you forget almost entirely what you were experiencing a moment before. Each moment is as enthralling as the next, but for different reasons. ‘Regular Touch’ is such an impressively catchy song with tons of hooks and ‘Private’ has an almost disturbingly gritty and grimy feel to it whilst still retaining accessibility.
Yes, it is a pop album, – but it’s so much more than what the overbearing connotations of that particular description suggests. Experimentation plays an incredibly major role here and will most certainly impress fans all across the spectrum of pop. It is as introspective as it is demonstrative and it is as thought-provoking as it is mind-numbingly catchy.
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