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Album Review: Girls ‘Album’

Girls

San Francisco drug-pop outfit Girls have the dubious honour of being one of the most difficult to Google bands of all time. Not only is the band name a rather popular term for Google, but they even called their first album… ‘Album’. But really, who cares, when it’s this good?

Somehow, in a world full of music, Girls have managed to craft a sound that is at the same time both familiar and completely unique. Album is magnificently under-produced, a testament to the less-is-more style of producing that many new indie bands could take heed of. This is lo-fi, raw music at its finest.

Fittingly, most of the songs are indeed about Girls, but they never descend into emotional ramblings, rather preferring brutal honesty: “You’ve been a bitch/I’ve been an ass” (‘Laura’). Album has an uncanny way of knocking you off your feet with one lyric of such heartfelt honesty and tragedy that you can’t quite believe you heard it sung in the same way as lines about hanging out with friends on the beach. Case in point is the opener ‘Lust For Life’, which, for all its upbeat carelessness, includes the knockout “I wish I’d had a father/Maybe then I would have turned out right“.

Just like its cover, Album is a minimalistic piece of art. The notable exception is the start of the wonderfully titled ‘Big Bad Mean Motherfucker’: a chaotic crescendo which then gives birth to Girls’ familiar sound.

All this being said, Girls haven’t exactly re-invented the wheel. They aren’t the first to try genuine, raw love songs, and they certainly won’t be the last. But Album always seems to have that extra little surprise in store, just when you’re becoming accustomed to it. Every listen reveals some new layer of their sound, and there’s something tangibly nice about being able to do this yourself, rather than having layer force-fed down your throat by over enthusiastic editing and producing.

Listen if you like: Wilco, early Beach Boys, Your Twenties, girls, Girls, albums, Album

Album rated: 9/10

Artist: Girls

Song: Lust For Life

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