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Torres - Thirstier Music Album Reviews

Torres - Thirstier Music Album Reviews
Mackenzie Scott’s latest is anthemic and euphoric, loaded with hooks and joyous reflections on love and self-discovery.

Six years ago, Mackenzie Scott sang, “I’m just trying to take this new skin for a spin.” Known by her stage name Torres, Scott was 24 then—beginning a new life in New York and still wrestling with the emotional residue of her Southern Baptist upbringing. Her music at the time flitted between a murmur and a scream, with fiercely observant songs that examined love, hate, and religious hypocrisy with unflinching intensity. Her most recent studio releases—2017’s Three Futures and last year’s Silver Tongue—were more brooding and restrained, but they still felt liable to explode if mixed with a drop of kerosene.

Her second album in 18 months, Thirstier is exuberant and unguarded—the kind of music you make when you’re no longer testing out a new skin and instead reveling in the fervent joy that it brings you. At their best, these songs ride the contact high of a love so consuming that it shifts your worldview and makes you write songs loaded with screamable choruses and conventional hooks: features that have rarely been hallmarks of Torres’ work. Scott has said she felt a desire to make energizing music at a time when life felt small. “I wanted it to sound as big as the biggest records I’ve ever heard,” the artist recently said. The result is the sleek grunge-pop album she has been inching towards, awash in opulent guitar tones and choruses that stretch out the myriad melodic possibilities of the word “bay-beee.”

Recorded last fall in England, Thirstier doesn’t dispense with the intensity of Torres’ previous work, but it channels it in a more anthemic and even euphoric direction. “Before my wild happiness, who was I if not yours?,” Scott sings on “Hug From a Dinosaur,” a mid-album highlight that augments its blissed-out fuzz-pop with call-and-response harmonies and buoyant synth lines. “Are You Sleepwalking?” toggles between a shoegaze roar and a twitchier synth-powered chorus, while “Drive Me” lights up the distortion-pedal pleasure center like a lost Breeders gem. The hooks are grand and the arrangements full of little pockets of exuberance, like the cheery handclaps in “Hug From a Dinosaur,” or the heavy guitars squealing Siamese Dream-style right before crashing into the mix on “Drive Me.” Scott sounds energized by a backing band that includes co-producers Rob Ellis and Peter Miles and Portishead member Adrian Utley.

It’s a flex to make such upbeat, joyous music during such an isolating and depressing year, but none of this lands with a smirk. In interviews circa Silver Tongue, Scott was outspoken about the romantic relationship that inspired her recent songwriting. Thirstier places this love front and center. In the video for “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in my Head,” Scott and her partner, the visual artist Jenna Gribbon, laze around in a state of domestic bliss—cooking, laughing, brushing their teeth—while Scott sings about hoping that love lasts forever. She has described the song as her “shameless Tim McGraw cheeseball hit”; it glistens with a country-rock sheen that feels like a whole-hearted embrace of the country motif she’s flirted with since 2015’s “Cowboy Guilt.” The stadium-sized hooks and quiet-loud dynamics of the title track are even bolder. “The more of you I drink, the thirstier I get, baby,” Scott wails during the final chorus as a trilling trumpet heightens the most ecstatic chorus of her career.

Thirstier’s slicker production suits these oversized pop gestures, but it doesn’t always mesh with the more intimate moments. “Big Leap,” a muted ballad about a loved one’s near-fatal accident, could have fit on one of Torres’ early records, but its spare reflection is undermined by a cheesy pall of downcast synths and overzealous backing vocals. The electronic touches are more effective during the album’s final third, which includes the throbbing club workout “Kiss the Corners” and the wholly unexpected industrial eruptions of “Keep the Devil Out.”

With her piercing contralto voice and collaborative history with Rob Ellis, Scott has often been compared to PJ Harvey. Like Harvey, Torres delivered blistering catharsis in her first few records before pivoting to muted minimalism and icy synths. Along this trajectory, Thirstier recalls Harvey’s Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea: a lush, uncharacteristically happy set, aglow with self-discovery. Both songwriters approach the subject of love with sustained wonder that such happiness is even possible. “Things I once thought unbelievable/In my life/Have all taken place,” Harvey sang in “Good Fortune.” “What comprises all this joy I feel/And where was it before?,” Scott asks in “Hug From a Dinosaur.” It’s the question at the center of Thirstier, which vibrates with the thrill of this confusion, a rejoinder to the long-enduring myth that great songwriting only emerges from depression and torment.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Torres - Thirstier Music Album Reviews Torres - Thirstier Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, August 05, 2021 Rating: 5

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