Album Review – PVRIS, White Noise

I have so many albums that I still have to review, but I felt as thought PVRIS’ White Noise had to be shared first. The group’s debut album just released nationwide today and definitely requires a recommendation. The album is extremely well-balanced and focused, yet each song is interesting in its uniqueness and individuality. I have a lot of good things to say about this album.

With every review comes positive and negative like peanut butter and jelly (okay, bad example, both are delicious), but let’s save the fun (and not-so-fun) stuff for the track-by-track breakdown:

1. Smoke – Smoke starts the album with a bit of an attitude in the emotion of the lyrics. The song identifies with Alternative music but adds a touch of synth-pop that does not outweigh it’s purpose. Smoke provides a good preview of what several songs on the album will sound like, but leaves room to wonder about the upcoming music. 8.75/10

2. St. Patrick – I have been listening to this song several times in the last couple of weeks, and while the song has the Alternative feel of the rest of the album, St. Patrick is defiant and grittier than most of the pieces on White Noise. I always get fooled by this song into thinking it ends earlier than it actually does, as the bridge sounds like it would make a better closing out to the song. This song marks a difference in the rest of the music I tend to enjoy, and gives me a sense of attitude and pride when I hear it. 9.5/10

3. My House – Along with St. Patrick was My House in the group’s original singles, followed by the White Noise single. My House has a similar sound to St. Patrick, but conveys more vulnerability than dominance like the previous song does. While defiant and righteous, My House is inspiring for anyone suffering in a relationship and is probably the most relatable song on the album. The words do feel a bit muffled out a lot though, which takes away from an otherwise enjoyable track. 9/10

4. Holy – Holy shows off the slowed-down parts of the album. This track is much more reflective than the first three and emphasizes the lyrical presence by distorting the guitar and percussion and focusing on the voice of Lyndsey Gunnulfsen in the first two stanzas, and especially in the bridge. The change in pace on the hook is a bit abrupt, but otherwise a solid song. 8.75/10

5. White Noise – White Noise was released only a couple of weeks ago, but really embodies the whole sound of the album in one song. It has the slow, reflective Alternative sound while encompassing synth-pop effects and presenting emotion in every lyric. The bridge gives the other bandmates some limelight to fade out the song and transition into the final hook, which is fine and dandy except is is practically empty. While this could be the best song on the album, its empty bridge makes it repetitive, and takes away some points from the song’s rating. 8.5/10

6. Fire – Probably the “popiest” song on the album, Fire cannot seem to figure out what it wants to sound like. It goes from slow and calm to angry and loud to repetitive and pop-y. I still appreciate the song, but the whole thing just feels indecisive. Otherwise sound, though Lyndsey’s voice sounds a bit rough at times. The guitar and drums on the bridge sound incredible though, I would just recommend for that portion. 8.5/10

7. Eyelids – At five minutes long, Eyelids is one of those songs that could be playing in the background and you would probably not notice it. I mean that in the way where you work and listen to music at the same time. It chimes and slowly shifts into electric guitar on the hook, and does not seem to quicken the pace too fast. The track is genuinely easy and smooth listening, yet it still captivates the listener and is worth listening to in full. 9.25/10

8. Mirrors – I immediately thought of CHVRCHES when I heard this, despite trying hard not to make the comparison. Of course when bands share genres, it will be easy to compare, but PVRIS has always had its own uniqueness. However, if you like CHVRCHES, I would doubt that this would not appeal to you. It is low-key and synth-y (for lack of a better word), and the bridge only proves it. I absolutely enjoy it though, might be one of my favorites on the album. 9.25/10

9. Ghosts – I said in the beginning that the album is very well balanced, and this song proves it. The pace switches from Alternative to Synth-Pop to the almost Indie-pop sound of Ghosts. This song really kept me listening and has a mellow sound. Then, all of the sudden, it switches up and goes crazy. The transition is rather abrupt, but the listener can keep up and it does not go any stronger than any of the other songs. 9/10

10. Let Them In – Similar to St. PatrickLet Them In is tough and conveys attitude. It ends the album with a note of “we’re not stopping here” and is the defiant sound of PVRIS that I enjoy most. It does not do what St. Patrick does, but it is a great way to end the album and makes me want to hear more soon. 8.75/10

So that averages out to just slightly under 9/10. White Noise is an excellent start to the Lowell, MA band, but it is hard to tell what sound the band is trying to convey. At times it is reflective and distorted, and other times it is defiant and self-righteous. I like both but I would prefer the stronger, independent attitude than the first. Any comparisons to Paramore or even CHVRCHES on the other songs seem a bit pushing it though, as they are very original and provide an enjoyable album for both focused listening and background music.

In the end, I have to admit that I cannot wait for more. I would recommend to any music fan listening at least to anything rated 9 or up. Go ahead and stream the album below:

-Austin Heath

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