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Album Review
Adore Life

Adore Life
by Savages

Matador Records

Review Date
26th January 2016
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

In 2013, Silence Yourself, the debut album from London rockers Savages was something of an attention grabber. The group’s monochromatic imagery and bolshie attitude resonated with fans and critics alike, the record having been nominated for the Mercury Prize in its year of release. French-born frontwoman, Jehnny Beth’s urgent vocals on tracks like ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Husbands’ were notable striking – grabbing the listener by the shirt front and demanding attention.

Adore Life, the 2016 follow-up to that record, is a more self-assured and purposeful effort. Less belligerent than its predecessor, it also offers the listener more opportunities to reflect and absorb the onslaught of message and music. “Is it human to adore life?” ponders Beth, moments before the title track glides gently to a complete stop, a heavy silence almost outstaying its welcome before the track resurrects itself slowly through a crescendo of unified vocal, bass and drums.

This isn’t to say there’s been any dilution of the fierce delivery that’s endeared the group to so many live audiences. Blistering opener ‘The Answer’ is a great example of this, as is the heavy weaponry behind the sound of ‘T.I.W.Y.G.’; crunchy guitars and frenetic drums shoving and twisting the sound around. The difference between this record as a whole and Silence Yourself is that these bursts of aggression are complemented by more explorative and ethereal periods, such as the ghostly introduction to ‘Mechanics’ and the ominous fuzz that threatens to all but suffocate the low key ‘Surrender’.

All told, Adore Life is an intelligent and compelling follow up from a band creatively firing on all cylinders, aptly managing to retain the power while adding the glory.


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