Ryn Weaver: The Fool

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Posted August 3, 2015 by in Alternative
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

2.5/ 5

Details

Genre: , ,
 
Producer: , ,
 
Label: ,
 
 
 
 
Genre: Indie pop, alternative
 
Producer: Michael Angelakos, Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat
 
Label: Mad Love, Interscope
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 41:29
 
Release Date: 16 June 2015
 
Spin This: "OctaHate," "Pierre," "Here Is Home"
 

Pros:

"OctaHate" and the few pop-folk gems bring out the best in Weaver's presentation
 

Cons:

Avalanche of styles, very little matching "OctaHate" and experimental opening and outro throws the ear off
 

Debut LP from Cali singer-songwriter exposes fight to showcase handful of styles

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Debut LP from Cali singer-songwriter exposes fight to showcase a handful of styles

Stranger soundscapes have been heard prior to Ryn Weaver‘s trippy indie-rock debut LP, The Fool, but in a Lana Del Ray galaxy she comes across as being palatable, even organic. The disc finds her teaming up with producers Benny Blanco and Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos while exploring a sea of musical types and formulas that hardly rubs at the pop aesthetic. Other than songs that lyrically dig at the heart of being on the wrong side of love, the only constant inside the disc is her Florence Welch-meets-Lorde pipes, which butters up her presentation for crossover. But the album is so loosely vexed with a parade of eerie developments that it becomes too hard to take her serious. A minute-long Poltergeist-like intro sucks the air out of “Runaway,” before a drop of percussion is even echoed. “New Constellations,” showing off a Christina  Perri vocal dipped in a wavering vibrato, goes through a a wave of muffled psychedelia and art rock, as if it’s possessed by intergalactic aliens. In between the bookends of the album are more of these moments, with most leaning on indie rock and pop-edged folk. It’s as if she consorts herself through a pilgrimage of sounds, so much so that the bombastic urban-pop of the Cashmere Cat-supported “OctaHate” actually sounds out of place on The Fool. It’s probably the only thing present that sounds carnivorous to the ear of the mainstream.

Although Weaver proves to be a rebel in her colorful display of diversity on her first run, she drops a few tunes that will possibly win the hearts of the acoustic coffee shop regular. “Pierre,” co-written by Ryan Tedder, is probably the dreamiest offering presented, giving off Tove Lo appeal with a touch of singer-songwriter gloss. Weaver tells the awkward story of a surprise lover “who could play the bass, he’s kinda quiet but his body ain’t.” If the album credits are right, the two-man band of Blanco and Angelakos pulls off this adventure with hardly any help, exposing their attention to detail and gifted ability to pull off these Americana-drenched workouts, even if Blanco is normally associated with Millennial pop made by Katy Perry and Maroon 5. “Here Is Home,” another strong track made in that tradition, sounds like it’s been touched with a Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac pop magic. Thanks to Nick Brown‘s easy drumming, the song plays easily to a cozy AM Gold crowd. When Weaver sings “When the rain falls or the river’s dry running,” it sounds like it’s been totally inspired by “Dreams.”

Weaver tries to conjure up remnants of the hip sounds of “OctaHate” on songs like “Stay Low” and “Promises,” but they hardly soar to the standard that has been set. That gives the surrounding alt-pop and the imperial galaxy of experimental sounds of the non-single tracks precedence over everything else offered. It’s a puzzling dichotomy Weaver has to deal with. Just how can she go forward? Can she be a trendy pop artist and a lo-if acoustic singer-songwriter at the same time? Unfortunately this album leaves us more questions than answers.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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