Review Summary: I waited for it/Some big ball to drop
I find myself at a loss to sell this album to you. I realize that's not my implicit job as reviewer but try as I might, it's the type of listener I've always been: bending backwards to convince you, loving songs so deeply and wanting to cut them open, not realizing you may not see what I do. That's why I find myself again head over heels, intensely thankful: here's an album tailor-made for this experience. There's true craft, pure propulsive skill here, but fuck that, right? I'll get to that. It's secondary for me, and always has been. No, because here's an album that I can hold tight and feel true kinship with, a dialogue between listener and artist that casts a glow around all surrounding it. Young Enough
is a coming-of-age chronicle that plays like the party and after it, when you make mistakes that dwarf the sun with an obliterating grin and watch as the calamity of your 20's rains down like confetti. It's damned convincing in it's discovery of self-reflection. More than navel-gazing, Eva Hendricks reaches realizations that are witty and wise, finding power in accepting indecisiveness not as crippling but instead something that is human: messy and complex and universal. If it sounds like I'm circling a conclusion without reaching it, well, justly so; 'Capacity' puts it best by fidgeting in its skin until the truth dawns that 'sometimes nothing is delicious
'. Nobody is perfect, it reassures, at war with collecting all the best and worst of us, but it can be freeing to recognize that you don't have to figure it all out. You don't always have to prove yourself, and sometimes you owe it to yourself to find relief in that. A sentiment for my bleeding people-pleaser heart if ever there was one.
Now then: this thing is just about damned perfect as an indie rock/pop experience, full of unassailable sugar rush hooks that reach soaring heights and theatrical slow-burning cuts that build to levels of dizzying power. Opener 'Blown To Bits' is aptly named, as it's instantly better than anything the band have done before, presenting itself as a grand reintroduction and an effortless leveling up. Poignant asides roll endlessly off Hendricks' tongue as she's enveloped in a track-length build of tense drums and billows of moody guitar. The song name-checks Rilo Kiley's 'A Better Son and Daughter', and it feels earned as each new crest is reached and subsequently cleared. 'Capacity' has deliriously catchy sing-songy melodies and a short deluge of huge air drum worthy crashes with a krautrock-like groove that rides a beautifully teetering synth line; it sounds in danger of being overstuffed but it never is, each element holding your attention until the next is introduced. There's not a single track that doesn't pull it's weight, but there are two that seem to me the clear best of the bunch. Title track 'Young Enough' sounds almost like a top-tier Waxahatchee cut: a lyrical near-ballad of bruised poetry that sounds like its sprinting in slow-motion until it reaches a blissed-out climax of pounding keys, subtle strings and clobbering drums. It's a masterfully weightless and rumbling slow-burner that achieves a newly introspective and emotionally piercing peak for the band. On the other end of the spectrum, single 'Chatroom' is all shameless fireworks: a breathlessly surging pop song of flirty come-ons and empowered kiss-offs that has one of the best endings to a song I've heard all year, a full-band explosion of group vocals gloriously riding dancing hi-hats, streaking synths and exultant guitar. Its a jubilant thunderclap of a song, both one of the best assembled and plain dumb fun pop songs I've heard in a while. They stand tall amongst a highlight reel of pop thrills and passionate indie rock, and Young Enough
is a special album that stands tall amongst a sea of up-and-coming female fronted indie bands. Allow Charly Bliss to reintroduce themselves; what a triumphant second act it is.