The release of a sophomore album for a highly buzzed, electro-pop act can be a dicey game. If the new material veers too close to true “pop”, the the fan base might cry foul. If it swings the other way, it could suffer too much from “sameness” or lose the edge that made early material so well regarded. Edmonton, Alberta duo Corin Roddick and Megan James clearly faced this challenge with their second full-length album as Purity Ring – another eternity. To make matters more complicated, mainstream pop acts like Taylor Swift are using indie electro-pop as influences, taking some of the “edge” out of the sound. Fortunately, Purity Ring pushes the sound of another eternity just to the brink of pop while still retaining the darker tones and textures of past work.
Roddick and James altered their approach choosing to work in a studio together as opposed to separately. The first two singles, “Push Pull” & “Begin Again”, are more upbeat and less techno-goth sounding than the bulk of Shrines. That does not make them bad tracks by any means. Both sound closer to fellow indie pop duo Chrvches than their original work. It is a subtle push to expand sound.
The opening track, “heartsigh”, has the duo more in their comfort zone and is one of the best tracks on the album, making it the best choice for the lead off song. After exposure to “push pull” as a single, “heartsigh” brings fans back to the magic of the early buzz. The very next track, a second stand out, “bodyache”, is a short but sweet blast. These tracks are worth the price of admission showing that Purity Ring can still craft brilliant melodic tracks that feel uniquely them.
The album slows slightly in the middle but picks up mightily with the third half. The absolutely brilliant banger of a track, “flood on the floor”, should immediately be added to all workout, running, aerobics playlists. It is one of those songs that is meant to get you moving.
another eternity might not be as immediate or as consistent as Shrines, but it is great second effort. In this modern internet, music landscape that is driven by “buzz”, it is hard for any hot band to move on to the next phase. Roddick and James are no longer the new kids and their uniqueness has been copied, for good or bad. However, Purity Ring prove they still can write music that means something and is beyond the buzz.
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