I know it’s unfair to pick on an artist like this for their lyrics, but check these out (all from the first song): “Whisper, whimper on I” (huh?); “I can hear your back cracking” (blurgh!); “I’ll build a house around you / Stir a moat until you drown, down” (she killed him?!).
Anyway, this is exactly what I expected it to be, and I find it amusing that so many people have deemed this to be some dramatic drop-off from their debut, because they’re about the same in quality. That is to say, Shrines kind of sucked, and all these internet genres – that some took to mean music becoming better than ever (simply because there were more different sounds than ever) – lasted as long as male orgasms. There isn’t anything as good as “Fineshrine” here, but the faux-handclaps in the second half of the choruses of “Heartsigh”; the melody of the choruses of “Push Pull”; Lorde’s guest appearance in the bridge of “Stranger Than Earth” and “Flood on the Floor”‘s massive drops all offer momentary pleasures. But, for the most part, Corin Roddick’s beats sound unnatural (ie. “Push Pull”‘s off-timed drumming in the verses could have benefited from some – any – variety; the drumming of “Flood on the Floor” seeks to undo Megan James’ twee-ness) as he takes cues from Lorde / as he focuses them more on the hip-hop elements of Ab-Soul’s “God’s Reign” instead of Danny Brown’s “25 Bucks.”
Pitchfork‘s Ian Cohen compares “Begin Again” to latter-day Taylor Swift, and if it were included on 1989, then it would be replace “Bad Blood” as the worst song there.