Review Summary: A proper and enjoyable debut by one of indie pop´s rising stars.
Most artists that managed to gather popularity and dwelve into the mainstream did it through a great single, able to grasp people´s attention. Such is the case of Lorde´s ''Royals'' or Tove Lo´s ''Habits'', just to name a few examples. Ryn Weaver is no exception. The single ''Octahate'', an amazing display of energetic synthpop, co-written and produced by other well known artists(e.g Charli XCX, Cashmere Cat ) , was a bomb of a hit in her Soundcloud page in 2014, as well as part of the Promises EP released on that same year. The song had amazing response and launched Ryn into releasing her first full length album, namely The Fool
, which follows the main pop aspects, but features some peculiarities as well.
Musically, the album has the characteristic alternative pop sound. Numerous layers and synthesizers drive the songs, along with Ryn´s sweet, engaging voice, ranging from Florence Welch vibrato to Imogen Heap wails. However, one can be mislead going into the album by the aforementioned ''Octahate'', since not all tracks feature such a downright poppy vibe. Most songs, such as ''Pierre'' and ''Traveling Song'', display folky elements attached to it and a slower pace, resulting in an interesting experience, exploring the many different spectrums of indie pop. This is all due to Ryn herself. Her vocals are passionate, seductive and show a lot of versatility, resulting in some specific moments of brilliance. The obsessive love story, soaring chorus and vocal loops of ''Octahate'' surely make it the peak of the record, accompanied by other enjoyable highlights, like ''Sail On'' and its amazing build up, or the folky, almost acoustic ''Traveling Song''. Written in tribute to her passed away grandfather, the song is absolutely moving, filled with emotion and with an amazing a capella ending. These moments are a demonstration of Ryn´s capabilities, and show a lot of her potential and personality.
It is strange, however, how Ryn ocasionally shifts away from the confidence and decisiviness shown at some points in the record. ''Stay Low'' is the low point in a moment where the album is at its strongest, with some awkard singing and lyricism (whisky lemon, really) and a rather boresome beat. Closer ''New Constellations'' is another disappointment, lacking any real progression, despite some nice imagery in the lyrics. And the problem goes beyond the bad tracks. Songs like ''Free'' and ''Here is Home'' are fine as they are, but feel a bit bland, especially when compared to the brilliance found mainly in the first half of the record. Ryn manages to nail both the eletro-pop and folk sides in some moments, but stands a little too much in between in others, failing to really impress. Her potential is clearly shown here, but she needs to dig deeper in order to find her true sound and develop a cohesive work.
Ultimately, The Fool
ends up as an enjoyable record, despite being occasionally inconsistent and feeling a bit held back at points. However, Ryn makes sure to show her capabilities, both vocally and lyrically, driving songs with her voice and emotion. The presence of different influences also goes to show that she is not another generic pop artist, and is looking forward to prove herself and build a reputation of her own.