Review Summary: Baths, a.k.a Will Wiesenfeld, provides a refreshing, organic sound to pop. He stumbles occasionally though....
Sometimes, there needs to be a shake up in life. With the exceptions in pop industry being a few gems, like Janelle Monae, there are a billion auto-tuned rip offs of each other that lack any originality and sound incredibly artificial. The incredible lifelessness of the pop industry seeps into oneself, and leaves one wondering whether there’s any hope left. Enter Baths, providing one of the most organic sounding albums, and especially debuts, in the pop industry that’s a breath of fresh air.
Baths, a.k.a 21 year old Will Wiesenfeld, starts out his debut with a choir, with all of the members being himself on “Apologetic Shoulder Blades”. With poppy beats and the choir in the background, the song proves to be incredibly catchy, especially with each time he sings the chorus “You crawled through my compuuuuteeer!” Along with “Apologetic Shoulder Blades” the tracks that take Cerulean
from being “good” to “great” are “Indoorsy” and “Maximalist”. On “Indoorsy”, the synthesized beats, handclaps, and guitars combine with Wiesenfeld’s distorted vocals to provide an awesome bit of swift, poppy goodness that begs for repeat listens. Unlike on “Indoorsy” though, “Maximalist” sounds far more loose and willing to relax and let itself be, letting a lot of slightly distorted beats flow out of itself and just keep coming and making itself a great listen in the process.
The rest of the tracks, while mostly enjoyable, pale in comparison. “:heart:” is a simple love song with a piano, that while not heart-tugging, is a little bit touching and is a “grower”. “Aminals” (and no, that’s not a typo) provides a starry-eyed, energetic look at the world through the eyes of a child, along with vocals by several kids (read: slightly Passion Pit-ish, just less choir like). “Hall” is a song that’s really good, but doesn’t match the league of “Indoorsy” and “Maximalist”, but for some reason I can’t put my finger on it. “You’re My Excuse To Travel” ’s vocal distortion is too weird for its own good at points, but it could possibly be a grower track to some with the incredibly catchy piano and handclaps.
Two severe complaints though prevent the album from being better than it could: “Lovely Bloodflow” and “Rafting Starlit Everglades”. The main problem with “Bloodflow” is that with the baby-talk/cooish “You are my bloodflowwwww/the baby loves its bloooodflowwww” among other lyrics, that is incredibly annoying and the instrumentals aren’t as interesting as any of the other faster songs on the album. The exact opposite, boring, is a problem with “Everglades”. It is nearly a repeat of the same uninteresting beats over….and over….and over for about 4 minutes, with only a couple of slight changes in the song. And there’s not even vocals to go along with its incredibly uninteresting beat, unlike the much better slow song “Rain Smell”, which feels out of place on the album.
Even with his faults though, Baths manages to create an incredibly intriguing debut that shows potential. Filled to the brim with different sounds, from pianos to claps and clone choirs, he manages to keep a mostly fresh sound and does this well, with lush textures and lyrics filled with hooks. It’s one interesting debut in pop that hasn’t been seen too often, or even at all.
Recommended tracks: Indoorsy, Maximalist, Apologetic Shoulder Blades, Hall