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Alice Glass - Prey//IV Music Album Reviews

Alice Glass - Prey//IV Music Album Reviews
The full-length solo debut from the former Crystal Castles singer a dark, extreme pop record about abuse, power, and regaining control.

Recovery doesn’t follow a predefined path. For survivors of domestic violence and abuse, there can be an expectation to play the perfect victim: to heal quickly and quietly, to sublimate their own personality into a model of strength, resilience, and grace. For Alice Glass—who left Crystal Castles in 2014 and in 2017 issued a statement alleging abuse at the hands of her former bandmate Ethan Kath—the process of recovery is manifested through vivid depictions of body horror, resentment, and revenge. Glass uses her solo work to enact violent fantasies over glitchy synthesizers and drum loops, painting a bleak and bloody picture of womanhood. In other words, as she puts it on her debut solo album PREY//IV, “Watch the hunter be the hunted.”

PREY//IV is Glass’ full-length follow-up to 2017’s eponymous EP, which communicated the panic and anxiety of a violent partnership through rushed, pitched-up squeals and the mechanical lurch of muscular basslines. Now, her words have a clearer target. Power, in its many permutations, burns at the core of the record. She often twists her perpetrator’s words against him, a perverse form of exposure therapy: “You’re not worth believing,” she mews on the shuddering “Pinned Beneath Limbs.” She returns to that approach, emboldened, on “Fair Game,” a terrifying highlight where Glass takes on the persona of her abuser. “I’m just trying to help you,” she sneers flatly, before twisting the knife: “You’re insane.”

Glass examines all sides of her own survival, from chilling memories of her abuse to nuanced excavations of her murky subconscious, rendering the contradictory desires born from cruelty. Glass plays up the deviant nature of dominance and submission on “Everybody Else,” sounding a bit like a haunted doll covering “I’m a Slave 4 U” as she sings about being tied up and losing control. During a spoken word passage on “The Hunted,” she stands over her captor, savoring their role reversal: “Now, when you’re suffering/I’ll smile.” PREY//IV is also a reflection of the ways she’s turned her abuse inwards, featuring images of self-harm scattered throughout: “Did you forget my own knife could cut me?” she sings on “Baby Teeth.” Just because she’s escaped doesn’t mean she’s no longer hurting.

As on her EP and recent one-off singles, Glass collaborated on these brooding and explosive songs with producer Jupiter Keyes, formerly of noise rockers HEALTH, and leans more heavily on beat drops and blown-out basslines than its predecessor. Glass spent the years following the release of her EP participating in a growing community of alternative ravers through Los Angeles club nights like HEAV3N and remote events like Club Quarantine, where she befriended producers like Dorian Electra and SOPHIE. Her sound has moved with her toward the dancefloor: “Baby Teeth” evokes the dark thump of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”; “Pinned Beneath Limbs” sounds like a SOPHIE deep cut via the tremor of the industrial punk of a Posh Isolation record.

Like her avant-pop contemporaries, Glass sees pop as a genre of extremes—whether that’s bubblegum cheerleader chants (“Love Is Violence”) or breakbeats that reverberate like they’re meant to break your speakers (“Witch Hunt”). But she incorporates spookier sounds to match her grisly subject matter—a toy piano on “Everybody Else,” a growling wild animal on “The Hunted,” crackling static at the opening of “Fair Game.” Glass’ voice adds an acrid putrefaction to her pop. She’s called early riot grrrl singers an inspiration, and her snotty screams on “Suffer and Swallow” and “Love Is Violence” echo Kathleen Hanna’s Valley Girl venom. At the same time, she also calls voice actor E.G. Daily, who played Tommy Pickles in Rugrats, one of her favorite singers, and uses little coos as a foil to her jagged edges.

On PREY//IV, Glass finds a voice that was silenced and distorted by abuse and manipulation; if anything, her first solo full-length can feel overwhelming, boiling over with so many vocal and musical experiments that don’t always cohere. Rather than sever her ties to her former band, she frames the record as a reclamation of her art from a cycle of abuse. The Roman numeral “IV” in the title is a reference to her previous band’s trilogy of albums, a gesture to show how she views the record in conversation with her work in Crystal Castles, rather than a rebirth; it’s only natural that there’s lingering trauma in such continuity. PREY//IV opens and ends with wordless incantations over windswept synths, like a cold front blowing in. The rest of the album, then, is the vicious storm—unpredictable, unruly, and destructive to everyone in its path, even its creator.

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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.
Alice Glass - Prey//IV Music Album Reviews Alice Glass - Prey//IV Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, March 02, 2022 Rating: 5

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