Parquet Courts
Wide Awake


4.5
superb

Review

by moodbrew USER (1 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2019 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Societal and Political Dread Hitting You Five Drinks in at a Party

The post-punk, NYC-based Parquet Courts anesthetize us through vibrant sound and energy. "Wide Awake!" is the culmination of intelligent self-reflection and uncanny self-awareness. Their reflection results in a unique spin on social critique. This album is a separation of their energetic form and "woke" message. The end result is a punchy, fun album that seeps into your brain. Wide Awake! forces one to move, groove, and think twice about our omnipresent societal norms.

One finds themselves immediately behind the lyrics shouting out at you. Then, a moment to breathe, complete with darker themes infesting the subdued songs. Then back to the prior, then back and forth, till the energetic, hopeless "Tenderness" to finish it up. Often after finishing a challenging album, I find myself exhausted and need a nap. Not the case for this album, I felt rejuvenated and filled to the brim with the pointlessness of it all. The exuberant vocal and instrumental delivery makes me want to dance or shout. Yet, the lyrics depress me. As strange as it is, the tone of the album and the messages it transmits do seem opposed. So how do we marry the two together for a wonderful listening experience" The answer is as simple as it is paradoxical. Be cognizant and don't give a single sh*t.

The album is complete with funky bass-lines and guitar riffs in harmony with the vocals. The enthusiastic or subdued instrumentals realizes the same idea of operating without caring. While they aren't out of tune with the vocals, they often operate outside of the content of the songs. One notable example being the guitar riffs in "Mardis Gras Beads." Our guide laments they are drowning in their own memories during the biggest party on Earth - Mardis Gras. After he reflects, we hear blaring, fun guitar until it’s interjected with his next thoughts. This contrast paints the picture of someone dejected meandering around a massive celebration. We only get to hear the party filter through alongside the pauses in his well-put thoughts. Emphatic and purposeful instrumentals always back the cerebral thoughts. This relationship makes the initial, and repeated, listening experience a delight.

Let your brain be sharp as a blade, but you're going to be outdone by nihilism. It's the beauty of our experience and the at-times grating vocals hammer it home. No smooth voice could've grabbed our indifferent attention a way as memorable as this. This album is a blast to listen to, and yet, eats into the social norms and behaviors we've accepted. Why didn't we notice all the themes on the first way through" It doesn't matter, you wouldn't have done anything besides be a little more self-aware. sh*t sucks, and some people care, but humanity, in the end, doesn't. The world feels opposed to itself, and what are we to do but reflect ad infinitum. The Parquet Courts carved out a unique sphere to make some damn good music, as well as discuss actual topics. Let's hope they continue to innovate, both with their actual music and related message. And fu*k Tom Brady!


user ratings (271)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
NylonCity (4.5)
Parquet Courts latest album is one of the best post-punk albums of the decade, maybe even of the cen...


Comments:Add a Comment 
hadeserbonfa
April 3rd 2019


201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

much better than the current review on this site



great record from a great band

Point1
April 3rd 2019


668 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Obviously a better review than the other one.

This album is definitely enjoyable but as much as I hate to say it I find it limited by just how dislikable these guys come off. I'm completely in line with their politics/attitude but they just seem like they'd be completely insufferable.

There's a good piece to be written that builds on the awesome Ian Cohen one from 2013 where he points out the parallels between "Modern Vampires of the City" and "The Greatest Generation" and basically argues that they're the same album but written by two guys in the same high school class who never talked to eachother. Except it would be about this and "Joy as an Act of Resistance" and it would be two guys at a Democratic Socialists meeting who don't get along (IDLES finding these guys completely up their own ass and Parquet Courts finding IDLES to be crude and unsophisticated).

FLCL
April 3rd 2019


69 Comments


pos

keza
April 4th 2019


405 Comments


if that summary ain't the most accurate I've ever seen.....

wwf
April 4th 2019


6377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lmao it really is

Artuma
April 4th 2019


31015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck tom brady [2]

Trophycase
April 4th 2019


1618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Except it would be about this and "Joy as an Act of Resistance" and it would be two guys at a Democratic Socialists meeting who don't get along (IDLES finding these guys completely up their own ass and Parquet Courts finding IDLES to be crude and unsophisticated).



I found the IDLES to be extremely pedestrian and safe regurgitation of mainstream progressive ideology (omg, immigrants are great), whereas this record has actually useful and interesting commentary (violence as both a problem and a solution to other problems; alienation, anxiety, and fast-paced-ness of modern society). Maybe my commentary about IDLES is shallow but I honestly couldn't make it through that record more than once or twice.

Point1
April 4th 2019


668 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@Trophycase Well there you go, that's exactly my point. Same values, different ways of approaching them. I find the IDLES record really vicerally appealing whereas this one feels a bit like getting lectured at by someone you already agree with. Like other than "FUCK TOM BRADY" nothing on this record really fires me up as opposed to making me nod along.

Trophycase
April 4th 2019


1618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can understand that, there are a few songs that give me that vibe too, but overall I find the record to be groovy, danceable and fun. I'll be seeing them live in a month or two so I can report back about how they are.

Trophycase
April 4th 2019


1618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If only I could buy a poster of the gif of the dudes on the album cover walking.

Artuma
May 8th 2019


31015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is so fucking infectious

dedex
May 11th 2019


309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

ALMOST ALMOST ALMOST ALMOST ALMOST HAD TO START A FIGHT

brandontaylor
May 12th 2019


839 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i liked this but there were quite a few songs that didnt really have any moments that grabbed me, whether lyrically vocally or instrumentally. it has some undoubtedly great highlights but i cant help but view this one as overrated.

Trophycase
May 12th 2019


1618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Meh, this is about exactly what I expect from a 3.8 IMO

Spec
August 3rd 2019


35722 Comments


This is kind of awesome.

SandwichBubble
August 3rd 2019


10006 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Emphasis on kind of. Wish it was more awesome so I could bump this 3.0 rating.

GhandhiLion
August 12th 2019


5386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Kind of bland

Digging: Savage Republic - Ceremonial

Artuma
August 12th 2019


31015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nah it's absolutely electrifying



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