I know, I know, I’m a bit late on this one, but I’m just getting back into things after our move, and already have a lot of new reviews coming that will be coming in down the pipeline, especially with so many of my favourites releasing new material this year!
Ah, I’m still kicking myself for not having gone to their early Mercury Lounge performance back in 2012! My friend Charlie from Thought Forms first introduced me to Savages back then right after they released their EP and as soon as their first album, Silence Yourself, was released I jumped on it. It blew me away and was on regular repeat in my ears through-out most of 2013 and well into 2014. It still gets a regular play here because it really is THAT good. You can therefore imagine how I was gleefully anticipating the release of their second album, Adore Life. None of those disappointing sophomore album complaints here – Adore Life is right up there with Silence Yourself, possibly even surpassing it in excellence. Time will tell there, but these ladies are incredibly talented and manage to take me to another place (or plane) yet again.
There are quite a few bands releasing new albums this year that I am really looking forward to, mainly old favourites like PJ Harvey, Garbage, The Kills, Lush (!!), and I put Savages amongst these releases. Even though it’s a few months after the album release I actually haven’t read any other reviews, and I haven’t read anything related to the background of the album either. All of my impressions come from listening to it on the stereo in the living room and on my headphones in the dark (still the best way to get really deep and actually feel the music strike a million chords inside of you).
It's been a while since I've listened to a new album in its entirety and managed to become one with it. Music helps me feel whole on days when I feel like I am falling into little pieces, it makes me feel larger than life on the days when I am on top of the world. Great music inspires, pushes you beyond your limits and Adore Life pulls me through a narrow tunnel out to a new realm.
It’s an album of love songs, but not your everyday love songs. My kind of love songs, the ones that are raw and truthful, fraught with fear, hatred, loathing but also beauty and simplicity, emotions that clash together constantly within our souls. There is a continuous search for something more, always more, the sound beating faster and faster, blood rising, flowing, faster, slower, sex, love, pain, freedom, restraints, purity, evil… A search for one’s own interpretation of love. After listening to the album I feel as if something was yanked out from within me, cut up, rearranged and stuffed back inside again.
While I absolutely adore the album as a whole, there are a few songs that really stand out, even on a first listen. I find that Adore is a perfect example of lyrics and melody becoming one. The build-up is beautiful, a crescendo, and leaves you somewhat wondering if it’s all just a way of convincing oneself that one really believes in life. It’s a magnificent paradox – happiness, but so sad. “I adore life.”
Evil takes me back to a dark basement bar in Paris, high on springtime, drunk on wine and twirling,twirling... Faster and faster, a release. In Slowing Down the World the guitar seems to be plaintively calling out to make us stop and think. Slow down, look around, look inside yourself. And I would love to see Mechanics live, it creates such a solemn, dark atmosphere, so brooding and bursting with hidden emotions. And then finally, Sad Person’s lyrics just speak for themselves:
Love is a disease, The strongest addiction I know, What happens in your brain, Is the same as a rush of cocaine. The more you have, the more you crave, Oh how I never managed, Such level of intensity yeah.
I get such a feeling of elation when I listen to Savages. My kind of love songs. My kind of poetry. My kind of beat, that bass pulsing through my veins.
They are currently on a pretty lengthy Northern American tour, stopping by The Fillmore in San Francisco in both April and May. Catch them if you can – they never disappoint. All the dates and much more (including lyrics and videos) can be found on their website, right HERE.