The album Blue Rev by the Canadian band Alvvays (which is, of course, pronounced as “Always”) is like a small comeback. After two albums in the 2010’s, it took the band some five years to release their latest set of songs. Here is my review of the 7th October 2022 publication.
Alvvays – About The Artists
Alvvays have been founded in Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island. However, very soon after the first steps in 2011, the band collectively moved to Toronto. Three of the founding members are still active, Kerri MacLellan (keyboards), Alec O’Hanley (lead guitar) and Molly Rankin (vocals, rhythm guitar). The latter is related to the folk family band The Rankin Family. In 2014, the debuted with a self-titled album, before the 2017 Antisocialites gave them some decent chart placements in Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA. However, some of the band’s singles had some really good reputation, even though Alvvays were not too present in the single charts. Blue Rev is overall the third album of the inde-pop band.
Alvvays – Blue Rev – Track by Track
The 14 track album lasts 39 minutes.
The album opens with three single releases. Pharmacist is the shortest of them. 2:04 minutes is the new music mainstream duration. The song is very individual, though and nicely introduces different melodic elements. Molly Rankin’s high voice, which is taking the focus of the song, reminds me of Nina Persson by The Cardigans. The closing of the song is then showcasing the instruments more strongly.
2. Easy On Your Own?
Similar to the song before, Easy On Your Own? is working towards a climax in the song and then breaking down in a longer fade-out. However, the second track lasts almost three minutes. I prefer the opener.
3. After The Earthquake
After the Earthquake
Pictures hanging diagonally
Drive-Thru crying in a milkshake
It wasn’t bult to last up in the front seat […]
The third song has a nice presence of the guitars and thus almost has an alternative folk music character. Overall, the track has a nice touch and speed, which lets it turn into a very enjoyable listen.
4. Tom Verlaine
The fourth track of the album features and honors the former Television lead, Tom Verlaine. The song is also the longest on the album. During the 3:26 minutes, the song alters between dreaming moments to almost psychedelic parts, which leads to a very entertaining listen.
Pressed is one of the shortest songs of the album. The song has quite some speed and rhythm, so that it is still creating some catching moments. Overall, the song still fades a bit too quick to me.
6. Many Mirrors
Many Mirrors is almost a but of kitschy at the beginning. Thereafter, the guitars contrast more to the rather slow, reverb sound of the vocals. This finally leads to a rather balanced listen.
7. Very Online Guy
Very Online Guys starts as a very beautiful and straight song. However, the song is then also using more contrasting sounds, which I don’t feel that they are working out that well.
The eighth song words with nice melodic themes, present rhythm and a lovely listen on the vocal side. Finally, the song is one of my favorites – which might also be caused by the rather traditional signature.
9. Tile By Tile
The three minute Tile By Tile does not really feel present until about half of the track. Then, the music instruments increase their power – this definitely increases the level of entertainment while listening to the song.
10. Pomeranian Spinster
I associate the ease and speed of Pomeranian Spinster almost with punk music. The song is a lovely indie-rocker – which may work as a party track as well as just in order to boost your happiness. One of my favorite songs.
11. Belinda Says
Belinda Says is actually the last song of the album Alvvays fans know already It is one of the best songs of the album to me. A key feature of this one is the fine leverage between pop and rock parts and the harmonic way the vocal parts work together with the instruments. Nice modern rock.
12. Bored In Bristol
If there’s a pill I’ll swallow
Gazing out the window
We could do it all.
The lyrics of the song and how Alvvays describe the scenery of Bored in Bristol is definitely the key factor which makes me smile while listening to the album. The song also has a really nice flow.
13. Lottery Noises
The last full-length song of the album has a very harmonic feeling. Again, the Canadians mix rock and pop sounds to a unique product. Regarding Lottery Noises, this band delivers nice tracks.
14. Fourth Figure
The vibe of Fourth Figure reminds me of Italian folk classics. A lovely way to finish Blue Rev – and if you don’t like the song too much… It is just 1:20 minutes.
Alvvays – Blue Rev – Spotify
Here is Blue Rev on Spotify:
Alvvays – Blue Rev – My View
I unfortunately feel that, finally, Blue Rev comes with too many weaker spots to go for very good ratings. But the album is a very nice listen. Fans of the band will love this “comeback” anyway. Very memorable sound.
Canadian Media/Music Reviews
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