Savages Silence Yourself was heralded as one of the best rock albums to come out of 2013. The all female London-based group found success largely in punk-revivalist ideals. Jagged guitar riffs and a pummeling bass and drum combination formed the bedrock for frontwoman Jehnny Beth’s vocal range, coming together to produce an album that was as relentless as it was intimate. Since the release fans have been eagerly awaiting Silence Yourself’s follow up with the band choosing to quench the thirst of fans at recent live shows with performances of songs from their 2nd album, Adore Life.
However, whereas live performances (such as ‘Adore’ on Jimmy Kimmel) have whet appetites with the live performances of new songs appearing to balance the tense atmospheric, yet hard hitting approach associated with their debut album, the recorded versions of tracks on Adore Life unfortunately flatter to deceive.
Adore Life is a solid second album, however a combination of the mass critical success of Silence Yourself and a subsequent minor drop in especially the production of their follow up has created a noticeable quality gap.
Two of Adore Life’s singles, such as the album’s opener, ‘The Answer’ and ‘T.I.W.Y.G’ pack similar aggressive punches to some of the heavier tracks on Silence Yourself like ‘Shut Up’ but fail to leave the same bruising. The sharp and abrasive sonic qualities from songs like ‘Husband’ have been dulled by reverb, and the dynamic range and urgency that was associated with Beth’s vocals in tracks like ‘She Will’ has been toned down to the point where ‘Evil’ and ‘I Need Something New’ feel reasonably flat in comparison.
Comparing the two albums so much rather than sticking to critiquing Adore Life in theory seems petty, but it is made more necessary when considering that one of the lead singles from the album ,‘Adore’, bares more comparison to filler tracks from Silence Yourself like ‘Waiting For a Sign’.
Once again, it is worth repeating that Adore Life is a good album. Fans of the band will continue to enjoy their rich blend of atmospheric noise-rock and hard-hitting revivalist punk, but just not to the same extent that Silence Yourself left fans equally wired and winded.