Weyes Blood
Titanic Rising


5.0
classic

Review

by luci USER (21 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2019 | 490 replies


Release Date: 04/05/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: sumptuous art pop from the ocean bed.

It takes only about a minute for Titanic Rising to submerge you in baroque flourishes, Natalie Mering’s velvety voice serving as an invitation to unwind in the sound. Her voice is just so damn comfy, the sonorous quality entrancing you before words even register. Paired with the romantic production, this could easily pass for an escapist record. Yet Mering betrays tension as she sings to her childhood self: “a lot's gonna change in your lifetime.” Within the song, it’s a prophesy of life’s troubles. I’m more taken by the sweeping context across the album, how it induces a similar vision as the low fantasy sequence in First Reformed. Ice caps melting in the Arctic; sea levels rising on the coastlines; coral reefs withering to extinction.

Climate change weighs heavy on Mering’s mind. Lush soundscapes are washed-out on Titanic Rising, all the edges sanded down in the studio. Blurry and ephemeral, it's an aural dream of baroque pop that sits among the decade’s best. In thinking about Mering’s artistic drive, I keep returning to this blurb by Alex Robertson: “[Musgraves] opts to lean into her latent Romanticism – her belief that music can deliver to us a new version of ourselves and therefore of the Earth we inhabit.” Imparting a message of hope is Mering’s calling, making the scenes of Titanic Rising feel like an act of renewal.

She wasn’t always this great: Front Row Seat to Earth was perfectly alluring while it played, but I could never recall what transpired. Sharpening her pop instincts and crafting climaxes that truly stick are how these songs are elevated. The dewy slide-guitar of “Andromeda” is a delectable hook; “Everyday” struts with confidence gleaned from the Great American Songbook. “Movies” is the best of the singles though, an emotional centerpiece split into two halves. A synth arpeggio glimmers as the narrator yearns for the clarity of life on the theater screen. And then of course we get the realization, a dizzying climax that tears a hole in your song of the year list. That naïve ecstasy captures the striving of Titanic Rising, where pockets of anxiety are refuted by the sheer awe of being alive.

A closing trio soothes with a steady drift back to the surface. The cavernous lurch of “Mirror Forever” becomes a frank acknowledgement of climate despair on “Wild Time”. Bittersweet and aching, Mering grapples with pessimism and molds it into a form that can move us forward: “it’s time for you to slowly let these changes make you more holy and true / otherwise you just made it complicated for nothing.” It’s a resonant line that understands the feeling of scrolling past dire warnings on our newsfeeds, how that brain clutter leaves us to flounder. It takes intentionality in how we live and act to even begin addressing the challenges ahead.

The strings of “Lot’s Gonna Change” recur on the closing instrumental, yet with distinctly crisp production. It’s an emergence from water that gives you time to reorient yourself in the world, hopefully with acquired joy. Titanic Rising is an enthralling work, a space to sit in tension with crises until you find something to believe. It’s also some of the best art pop in years - revel in it.



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...

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The cover only depicts part of the beauty within the album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
luci
April 3rd 2019


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Out this Friday, there's an NPR First Listen stream.

DoofDoof
April 3rd 2019


6697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Looking forward to listening to this again.



Prediction: it'll be a Doof 4

Digging: Kev Hopper - Corbyn Sceptic Club

Friday13th
April 3rd 2019


7026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Delightful album. I like that it runs through the 60s-80s styles of art pop with ease and great songwriting.

Digging: Stevie Wonder - Fulfillingness' First Finale

Papa Universe
April 3rd 2019


22470 Comments


damn NPR with their damn useful service to quench our thirst. this is a hell of a delightful album so far.

POS blood

budgie
April 3rd 2019


15516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice, thanks luci

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2019


12203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

Probs my fave album of the year so far and a fitting review to boot

luci
April 3rd 2019


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ty. same for me, first release worth making a fuss over

Gyromania
April 3rd 2019


29104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. Really enjoying this so far.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
April 3rd 2019


8841 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Always a pleasant surprise to see a Lucid review

This album is so so so good

Digging: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Det Onda. Det Goda. Det Vackra. Det Fula.

Sinternet
April 3rd 2019


21126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i enjoyed her last album a fair bit so excited to jam this

Digging: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Det Onda. Det Goda. Det Vackra. Det Fula.

Sinternet
April 3rd 2019


21126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

really loving this so far, the early 80s pads add such a good harmonic layer to everything. both movies and andromeda are incredible

Wildhoney
April 4th 2019


462 Comments


God damn. This is very fucking good so far. Definitely special.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2019


25250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Fantastic review, man

Digging: Origami Angel - Somewhere City

luci
April 4th 2019


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks! excited for you to listen, it's quite atari

budgie
April 4th 2019


15516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

after one listen: she's made another great album. i think i prefer this one to the innocents already, though front row seat to earth will almost definitely stay my overall favorite

Gyromania
April 4th 2019


29104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is without a doubt the best thing i've heard so far this year.

Friday13th
April 4th 2019


7026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A quote from Natalie: "I love the cover song as a format. I would cover King Crimson, 'Starless'. That song - unbelievable...The prog thing is strong with me."

https://www.dgmlive.com/news/weyes%20blood%20and%20king%20crimson

My heart lol

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2019


25250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

lovely so far, you know me too well



I can see the Bedouine comparisons in both her voice and some of the flowery orchestration, but

this is probably a bit more musically adventurous. very similar appeal though :]



ooh, Everyday is an instant hit

luci
April 4th 2019


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sweet. I've seen her compared to dozens of artists which is a testament to how much she stands out (I skipped the RIYL section for that reason). i'm sure we'll see julia holter comparisons but I don't think any of her albums sound quite like this

Wildhoney
April 4th 2019


462 Comments


This reminds me most of Françoise Hardy and The Zombies. But I really don't want to compare this to anything as the comparisons could go on for days. I agree that that's a testament to how much this stands out



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