Wild Beasts
Smother


4.5
superb

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
May 11th, 2011 | 226 replies | 17,794 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unique, ethereal and brilliant. This isn't an album that you can afford to miss.

It's rare for an album to come along and please everyone, Arcade Fire just about managed to do this with "Suburbs" last year, picking up dozens of awards and wide spread acclaim although for many of us the album itself was slightly lacking in anything truly inspiring or unique. With "Smother", Wild Beasts have managed to give us something better. It has a similar tone and will undoubtedly appeal to the wider public, but it's speckled with so many flashes of brilliance that it will be remembered for a good while yet.

"Smother" can be generally categorised as Indie Rock, there's a wide array of synths and instruments present, with particular mention of some pretty predominant percussion, but it's done tastefully and does not fall into the trap of descending into a synth-drowned mess. It's chilled out for the most part, with Thorpe's sometimes shaky, but nevertheless soft and pleasant vocals weaving their way around slow-paced songs about seemingly nonsensical things.

The growth of Wild Beasts from their previous two albums is certainly something to note. Before they have displayed their original style but only to tease us with it, as if they were insecure about bucking the trend of Indie Rock as it stands today. With "Smother" they've finally managed to distance themselves in order to deliver us something that is truly them, instead of simply something that we expect from them.

Possibly the most striking thing about the album is its ability to absorb the listener instantly. The deceptively simple, but on further listen incredibly complicated, arrangements present in each song make the album easy to listen to on the first few plays yet still fascinating as you continue to delve deeper into it. This could be by incredibly subtle bass lines or possibly the quiet, off-beat claps that crop up every now and again. By listening to Wild Beasts you are giving yourself over to a dreamworld in which you are swamped by ethereal, fantastical wonder.

And if an album can make me admit to that then it's obviously doing something.

Highlights include "End Come Too Soon", a piece which swells up and down, with the lyrics cutting in and out to put equal significance on the parts where they are present and when they are not with a powerful instrumental part in the middle. "Invisible" is slightly less adventurous, with a drifting, haunting tone that drives on and on into your head until you are infected by it. The ending lyrics too of "Your lips to my lips/ I cease to exist" are as impossible to forget as they are beautiful.

"Smother" is very much one of those albums that you can't afford to ignore. It's a masterpiece of heartfelt songwriting mixed with growing talent and new ideas. It's beaten-down, depressed but all the more wonderful for it and I strongly urge all of you to go out and buy it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Eko
May 11th 2011



2119 Comments


I was on metacritic yesterday and this was the highest rated album for the year so far and I was like what is that? Sounds really interesting.

MarvellousG
May 11th 2011



368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll have to check this out, sounds very interesting. Great review, have a pos

DoubtGin
May 11th 2011



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yes

Fugue
May 11th 2011



7352 Comments


Awesome, awesome, awesome; added to my "to get" list.

pizzamachine
May 11th 2011



12571 Comments


Listening...

cvlts
May 11th 2011



8954 Comments


Saw this on the Needle Drop. Dunno, didn't look like my thang

pizzamachine
May 11th 2011



12571 Comments


I don't like it : (

beefshoes
May 11th 2011



2914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is pretty awesome but I can't listen to it all of the time.


Digging: Ulver - Messe I.X-VI.X

HBFS
May 11th 2011



1218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck yeah the needle drop geno
will get this tonight

Digging: Jamie xx - Girl/Sleep Sound

Wildorwhat
May 12th 2011



86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fantastic album so addictive really sucks you in

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2011



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've only listened to this once so far but I really liked it. Can definitely see it being an album of the year contender, and I hope it gets the attention it deserves here.

Steoandnoodles
May 12th 2011



2832 Comments


About time someone reviewed this. It's beautiful.

Steoandnoodles
May 13th 2011



2832 Comments


The drums on 'Loop The Loop' are so lush. =)

HBFS
May 13th 2011



1218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is really good. His voice pisses me off at times though

Steoandnoodles
May 13th 2011



2832 Comments


It takes time to get used to. I've listened through all three of their LPs and now I adore it. Very few voices compare.

Tell me HBFS; have you listened to Limbo,Panto?

HBFS
May 13th 2011



1218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope, first time I've ever listened to this band. Any good?

Steoandnoodles
May 13th 2011



2832 Comments


Well, I'd go for Two Dancers next. I'm just saying; Hayden's vocals were very demanding in Limbo, Panto... Smother's vocals are actually beautiful. (Certainly in comparison). =)

Though you must listen to 'Devil's Crayon'

HBFS
May 13th 2011



1218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alright, I'll probably listen to those two albums this week. If I can stop listening to Simple Math, that is.

Steoandnoodles
May 13th 2011



2832 Comments


Yeah, Simple math is pretty good. Never felt Manchester Orchestra were all that great myself. =/

DoubtGin
May 13th 2011



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i dont get p4k

I'll have to listen to their first two albums (again), too. And "Through Dark Night". God, his voice is so weird on that one, but I love it.



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