3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethereal Beauty with a Dangerous Edge
Will 2011 be the year of the true indie female artiste? I'm not talking about Adele, Lily, Florence, Duffy or Rumer here, but the truly creative and strong making their own music the way they want. This is a torch that PJ Harvey has had to bare herself for too long. Well no more as artistes such as Anna Calvi and Lykke Li powered into 2011 ploughing their own and very...
Published on 13 July 2011 by Glass90land
3.0 out of 5 stars OK background music
I bought this after coming across the band online and listening/watching to their 'rough trade sessions'. I had really high expectations for this album and I'm pretty disappointed. It's ok for background music, the general vibe of the music is good but I hate the way it's been produced, there's something that isn't quite right with it (maybe it's the levels of the...
Published 20 months ago by greenrin
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethereal Beauty with a Dangerous Edge,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)Will 2011 be the year of the true indie female artiste? I'm not talking about Adele, Lily, Florence, Duffy or Rumer here, but the truly creative and strong making their own music the way they want. This is a torch that PJ Harvey has had to bare herself for too long. Well no more as artistes such as Anna Calvi and Lykke Li powered into 2011 ploughing their own and very distinctive furrows. Running with them now is all girl combo Warpaint. The problem (or good thing) is that with Harvey reaching a new zenith with "Let England Shake", Calvi's stunning eponymous debut and Li's inventive powerhouse "Wounded Rhymes" the bar has been set very high indeed, but it is a bar that Warpaint's "The Fool" clears albeit with a bit of a trailing leg.
Formed in LA by Oregon childhood friends Emily Kokal and Teresa Wayman (both vocals and guitar) with Jenny Lee Lindburg (bass), Warpaint have been around for quite some years, but only now with the addition of Ausi Stella Mozgawa on drums do they have an established complete line-up. I don't know, or even care if Mozgawa was brought in to keep it "all girl", but they certainly haven't compromised: the musicianship is top notch.
From the go, with "Set down your arms" its about mood, and the mood is ethereal. I am not talking gloopy Cocteau Twins or Mostly Autumn here, this has a dangerous edgyness to it. This album is certainly best appreciated as an entity, and is not for cherry picking, "Composure", for example sounds awkward on its own, but as the midpoint of "The Fool" it sounds perfect. In fact in the context of the opus, every single track is very strong. This is Warpaint's very own sound, gaining in confidence and daring from the more accessible EP Exquisite Corpse they have moved further in their own direction. Kokal and Wayman's ghostly harmonies and guitar styles work superbly with Jenny Lee Lindberg's intricate bass and Mozgawa's clever rhythms to establish the right feeling in the listener. The album is so beautifully constructed that by the end the band's own distinctive sound becomes very accessible and rewarding. And that trailing leg, the vocals from both girls sometimes don't quite work for me, however it is an occasional and mostly insignificant flaw that detracts little from the enjoyment.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warpaint - Apply dark colours to hypnotic music,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)Warpaints' track "Undertow" has been placed on so many music blogs over the past few months that a referral to the Monopolies Commission would have been in order. Rough Trades' further decision to stream this new album on the huge music blog aggregator Hype Machine means that this album is well trailed and on the evidence of the music brilliantly constructed and produced.
Warpaint are female rock group from Los Angeles comprising Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals/guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bassist/vocals), and Stella Mozgawa (drums/keyboards). "The Fool" is their debut album hot on the heels of 2009s EP "Exquisite corpse" and a very nice separate cover of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes". This band defies stereotypes and "The Fool" is no LA blast of summer fun like the joyous recent product of their contemporaries Best Coast, indeed you sense that P. J. Harvey LPs may have been strewn around the recording studio.
While Warpaint smear their influences on their sleeves the fact remains that they are pretty much impeccable as sources. Combine this with the fact they inhabit a space which is not sardine packed with bands and their musical slant is wholly intoxicating. The aforementioned single "Undertow" is jammed full of nuance that hints at Nirvana and the Pixies and yet is distinctive enough to stand as a great song in its own right. The style is very sweet and yet has a icy skeletal quality to it which makes them a much darker prospect that say Beach House, but at the same time both bands still retain a dreamy pop quality. Opener "Set your arms down" confirms this and steadily builds through a tidal bass to five minutes plus of glorious atmosphere psychedelica, jam packed with ghostly vocals and tight harmonies. Even more darkly sinister is the wonderful "Majesty" a six minute slow burner full of protruding electronic warps and a bass straight out of the Kim Deal handbook. It frankly makes our London chums the XX sound just a bit safe and signals the arrival of a very exciting prospect. The vocals in "Composure" start off almost as a playground chant in the distance (indeed I thought someone was shouting up the stairs when I first heard it) but moves into a clipped guitar workout with echoes of the Cure given equal prominence in the mix with Telow's vocals.
There is more to this band however than meets the eye as evidenced by two great highlights the ethereal piano driven ballad "Lizzies'' Heart Murmur" a shimmering slice of pop music which suggests cinematic slow core soundscapes. Similarly the beautiful show stealing acoustic song "Baby" is so sparse you feel it could break but expands gently over four minutes into a lovely piece sung with true grace by Telow and which will resonate with all who listen.
Warpaint have produced in "The Fool" a mercurial debut album which cries out for your attention. It is a brazenly confident piece of work and for a first major outing characterised by a welcome absence of foolishness. Rough Trade has discovered something here which is very special and Warpaint are one of the rock revelations of the year.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woozy, shimmering bassy bliss,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)This album slowly got its hooks into me and is now a real favourite. It's nice to hear an album thesedays with the bass turned up real high in the mix, Bees in particular just being such a jam. Highly recommended
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite floating dreamy sounds by ladies on the warpath,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)At first listen it doesn't quite suck you in as their debut EP 'Exquisite Corpse' did but after a few spins in a different way grabs it does. Opener 'Set Your Arms Down' has a beautiful exquisite sound "we walk through fire.... my love is your flashlight....they want to fight me". 2nd track 'Warpaint' continues this free form dual jangle guitar background and floating dreamy vocals. These ladies are ready to fight. Next 'Undertow' released as a 7" vinyl is one of the catchiest here "what's the matter you hurt yourself open your eyes & there was someone else" but is in fact not the best. 'Bees' stumbles along seemingly with less purpose but there is beauty here which unfolds after further plays "how long did it take to get yourself straight" and emerges as a compelling piece (nice guitar backdrop). Then the melancholy of 'Shadows' combining lurching acoustic guitar & heavenly keyboards & vocals is dream pop at its very best with machine gun drum fill injections "with my hand in my pocket, I feel like a shadow". Emily has a strong vocal. 'Composure' shades of folk psych & controversial lyrics "how can I keep my composure with the clit cut". Yes well interesting :o) 'Baby' is a very gentle wistful acoustic number which takes you floating & shows a different side & is a break from their classic approach "You speak your view" "Don't you call anyone else baby.....because I'm your baby still" . 'Majesty' is again a gentle piece & a love song "When I held your hand you still went the other way" "I adore your face" "You could have been my king" more riveting majestic sounds - with bubbling synth & hypnotic guitar. 'Lissies Heart Murmurs' ends as the album began, that is with exquisite floating dreamy sounds. Nice one ladies.
5.0 out of 5 stars The fool,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)Overall I love warpaint, another great album! The product came fine with no damages when it arrived was very happy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Miny,
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5.0 out of 5 stars almost too perfect,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)Almost too perfect, i think i just prefer the first album but this one is still amazingly good. Theresa has a more prominent voice in this album but all the things that were good about the first album is kept up and warpaint maintain their path of awesomness!
3.0 out of 5 stars OK background music,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)I bought this after coming across the band online and listening/watching to their 'rough trade sessions'. I had really high expectations for this album and I'm pretty disappointed. It's ok for background music, the general vibe of the music is good but I hate the way it's been produced, there's something that isn't quite right with it (maybe it's the levels of the instruments or something?) I much prefer it as background noise rather than close listening. I just don't like the production of this album.
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gift to all indie fans,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)What a great album! Mellow indie with off-kilter harmonies and ethereal guitar lines. It reminds me a lot of early 'Lush' and other shoegazers, but there's definitely more than a little Nirvana here - right down to the 'what's the matter/you hurt yourself' borrowed from Polly in 'undertow'
I liked it the first time I heard it, but I know it's a good album when different songs jump out at me at different times. 'Shadows' is currently my favourite. This track inparticular showcases what a good rhythm section the band has with Stella thumping along imaginatively.
Few indie fans would be disappointed with this in their collection. It's familiar but refreshingly different. Looking forward to their next.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it,
This review is from: The Fool (Audio CD)I first heard Warpaint on the bbc Glastonbury videos this summer, bought the CD (and EP)on a hunch and haven't regretted it. If you're not sure go to their website - there are lots of freebies you can access to help you make up your mind but the album is great. Not sure I could name all the tracks as they seems to merge togehter but Warpaint, Undertow, (easiest to get into) Bees and Lizzies Heart Murmer stand out. Actually so do Baby, Set Your Arms Down and Composure. I love the melodic bass guitar and the vocal harmonies, I love the abstract lyrical sound and the frequent changes of rythmn or direction. No idea what the lyrics are about but the dream like quality is fabulous!
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