Waxahatchee
Out in the Storm


4.0
excellent

Review

by William Lim USER (29 Reviews)
July 18th, 2017 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist


Out in the Storm exhibits complex emotionality expressed in a paradoxically concise and direct manner. That directness is a result of simplicity: Out in the Storm is fuelled by steady rhythms, straightforward chord progressions and pop songwriting structures. The album’s emotional content, on the other hand, is much harder to pin down.

Its songs are not simply “happy” or “sad”, but filled simultaneously with warm tones and harrowing melancholy. Perhaps this dichotomy emanates from Crutchfield’s experience of recalling the deteriorating relationship that is the subject of the album from the vantage point of the present. With the particularly acrimonious breakup described in her lyrics now far behind her, Crutchfield does not evoke the past with only the misery that lies there. Gorgeous melodies float through the hazy atmosphere created by reverberating instrumentation; something beautiful dances in the fog of Crutchfield’s memory.

There’s a light on Out in the Storm that never goes out. I imagine it as Crutchfield herself, a tourist in the recollections of her own past who carries knowledge of not only how the story ends, but how it goes on. In the current of optimism that runs through the album, I hear the positivity that follows anguish, and the strength that follows recovery. Crutchfield has moved on from the period of heartbreak detailed on Out in the Storm, and although that is where the album’s narrative takes place, its spirit is that of a healed soul.

Narrative and spirit, brightness and despair, and past and present are all essential aspects of Out in the Storm, bound inseparably in the unique moment of reflection that gave rise to the album. Crutchfield accepts it all, and bears the overwhelming whirlwind of feelings close to her heart in crafting Out in the Storm: a penetrating, beautifully bittersweet, utterly human artistic achievement; Waxahatchee’s best record since American Weekend. Listen closely, and you can hear its beating heart amidst a storm of sound.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Brendan Schroer (4)
If this is the storm, then I'd like to ride it out too....


Comments:Add a Comment 
dimsim3478
July 18th 2017


7547 Comments


btw this song isn't on the album but it's just as good as anything that is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdNyo_Q8dqE

Digging: Seventeen Again - ???

BlushfulHippocrene
July 18th 2017


1536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Beautiful review, mate. And amazing album. You should submit this as part of this week's comp if you haven't, it might win.

Digging: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Raw and Declawed

Lucid
July 18th 2017


8058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great thoughts expressed in the review but I have an issue with some of the writing. Opening sentence put me off right away: "Out in the Storm exhibits complex emotionality expressed in a paradoxically concise and direct manner." You should simplify this sentiment for the sake of directness (like you praised the record). I wouldn't call it "paradoxical" either: writers often use simple language to express difficult emotions. It's not absurd or contradictory.

I'd also minimize the hyperbole near the end of the review with "a penetrating, beautifully bittersweet, utterly human artistic achievement." Maybe this gushing can be excused in a classic review, but it reads as overselling with the current rating. Calling it an "artistic achievement" doesn't say much, we know you think it's a success with the rest of the writing. Solid write-up overall, gives a vivid impression of how the album sounds.

dimsim3478
July 18th 2017


7547 Comments


"You should submit this as part of this week's comp if you haven't, it might win."

nah, SoccerRiot's going after the feature for this review. dunno if he'll get around to it, tho.

@Lucid thanks a ton for taking the time to write out your criticisms. it gave me thoughtssss and they are as follows:

"You should simplify this sentiment for the sake of directness (like you praised the record)."

To be honest, I like the idea of having the first sentence be a bit confusing, as opposed to expressing exactly what I want to say with absolute clarity.

"I wouldn't call it "paradoxical" either: writers often use simple language to express difficult emotions. It's not absurd or contradictory."

Hmm, maybe "paradoxical" is the wrong word. It's by no means a paradox--I wasn't using the world literally--but I did want to highlight the richness of the album's emotional content despite its straightforward style. I know there are a lot of artists who can achieve the same thing, but I also know there are many more who can't to a noteworthy extent. In the case of Out in the Storm, I thought the contrast was noteworthy.

"Maybe this gushing can be excused in a classic review, but it reads as overselling with the current rating."

I'll probably take your advice and edit that spot eventually. That said, I really do love this record, and was kinda going for overselling there, though it mightn't have been fitting to do so.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2017


13946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album isn't bad

Digging: Palace Music - Lost Blues and Other Songs

Gyromania
July 18th 2017


22277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed doof

theBoneyKing
July 18th 2017


10237 Comments


Didn't much dig her last one... Think I'll pass on this.

Digging: Radiohead - OKNOTOK 1997-2017

Lucid
July 18th 2017


8058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

after an excellent opening trio this loses steam fast. shouldn't have sequenced the best three songs first

BlushfulHippocrene
July 18th 2017


1536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love most of the songs on this, but 'Recite Remorse' is my favourite.

dimsim3478
July 18th 2017


7547 Comments


"shouldn't have sequenced the best three songs first"

not the first time i've seen somebody call the first three songs the best and i rlly disagree. the two after them ("recite remorse" *fistbump blushful* and "sparks fly") are probably my favourites along with "silver". album's pretty consistent imo.

only issue i got with the tracklist is there's two acoustic numbers among the last three tracks. kinda kills the momentum that's built up before that point.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2017


2519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i like this album.. agreed with Blush, recite remorse is lovely, and I really love the throwback of No Question..

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2017


15292 Comments


nice review calvin!

Digging: Pretend - Circular Rsoning

dimsim3478
July 18th 2017


7547 Comments


thanks troy

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2017


15292 Comments


i love calvin and hobbes so much

this is a band that keeps poppin up on my spotify playlists and ive dug what ive heard so far but havent dived into their discog yet

dimsim3478
July 18th 2017


7547 Comments


i dunno i guess if you're really feelin a song of theirs you should totally check em out, but otherwise they don't have anything that you really urgently need to hear...except maybe american weekend

MyCarandMyGuitar
July 18th 2017


2101 Comments


American Weekend rules hard yeah, especially Grass Stain. Might have to check this

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2017


15292 Comments


yeah ill check that first then!

FreddieDelaney31
July 18th 2017


3013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ivy Tripp is her best album

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Scum Fuck Flower Boy

Lucid
July 18th 2017


8058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

*worst

has the lowest average here so sput agrees

FreddieDelaney31
July 18th 2017


3013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd say this is her worst tbh



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