Review Summary: These girls just wanna have fun.
Meg Remy. What a unique perspective at musical craft does she have" This is quite hard to define, to be frank. It is not a typical indie pop we grew to recognise, yet it is nowhere close to anything else, be it rock music in general or other pop subgenres. So is it one of those undefinable art-pop nonpareils" I suppose so. It really is hard to define. That tangible softness you’d expect in a typical indie or dream pop release is there, but the sonic production and the fairy tale like song-writing twist that around.
“Velvet 4 Sale” is the album’s opener and it presents a seemingly standard and relatively mild pop pleasantness, but all throughout an oddity creeps in from the distance. As if something in the song’s atmosphere was feeding off its blissful nature, eventually bursting into dramatic guitar fuzz. That visceral, screeching guitar work will be of essence on this record, as the following “Rage of Plastics” makes clear right from the get-go, where the very same guitar sound blasts out its shout to what would paradoxically turn out to be a calm and soft track. And talking about softness with a surprising arrangement, first single off of the album, “M.A.H.”, is reminiscent of classic ABBA-ian pop chart-toppers. Don’t be discouraged by the initial off-colour appearance of “Rosebud”, for its true flavour is revealed only upon repeated visit. Neither should you feel fear of “Incidental Boogie” and its showy near-banger aspirations. Both of those songs, while marginally different, are much like U.S. Girls’ entire aesthetic striking as outlandish wildcards, but with an odd familiarity to them. And back to the tangibly sweet vibe, “L-Over” presents a poppy, tuneful and naively pure atmosphere. Interestingly enough, the following “Pearly Gates” also strikes with poppy tunefulness, but this time with slightly sinister, desperate undertones. Then “Poem” pops up all electronic and danceable and the closing epic “Time” comes off as the track to define this album, equal parts pretty, as it is purposefully choppy and wild.
If anything should be apparent from all this it’s that this album on paper sounds a little out of place. And while to a certain, most technical extent that is the case, it also makes up for that in song-writing and songs’ beautiful individuality. Meg Remy truly did a great job exploring every in and out of this very homely-feeling, adventure-aching, grounded, but otherworldly piece of niceness-quintessence style she managed to dream up for herself, where the guitars often seem to be replacing a saxophone, until the actual saxophone kicks in at the last minute. So much for straightforwardness. Let there be weirdness.