Torres
Silver Tongue


3.5
great

Review

by turnip90210 USER (77 Reviews)
January 31st, 2020 | 12 replies


Release Date: 01/31/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finding the way again

The sound of Torres's previous album, coupled with the label's subsequent treatment reveals 4AD's intentions to be little more than an attempt at a quick buck off a St. Vincent knockoff. The material sounded stiff, the moolah failed to materialise, the artist got unceremoniously dumped. Three Futures will remain a bit of a black sheep in the discography, serving as a cautionary tale against the product-minded approach of the music industry. Mackenzie took a while to dust herself off from this turn of events, but eventually resurfaced on a new label with a self-produced album tracked at a hometown studio.

Silver Tongue does not attempt to distance itself from its predecessor, but rather improve on its shortcomings. Synths are the dominant texturing of choice, but gravitate towards warmer tones with lusher arrangements that wrap themselves around the dulcet vocals. Lead guitar counterpoint is more deliberate, and provides one of the album's most satisfying moments as the melody dancing around the chorus to "Good Grief" becomes a soaring bridge a bit later. Crucially, Torres also feels more connected to the subject matter, which is more melancholic than last time. The chronicled thorny on-again, off-again relationship lends a sense of urgency, an underlying current of anxiety about everything coming tumbling down. It may not quite be the gut-punching Existenzangst of the highlights off her first two albums, but we're likely never getting stuff like that again.

The album's main flaw is a rather unusual one - Mackenzie seems to have forgotten how to end songs. On numerous occasions, rather than reaching a satisfying or at least sensible conclusion, the tracks randomly sputter out and drop instrumentation. This was particularly noticeable with the singles, but sticks out less when there's another song to chase the awkwardly terminated one within a few seconds. Also, the title track does not quite live up to the standard of Torres's previous closers, but sports some contemplative lyrics on the power of song crafting. All things considered, Silver Tongue is Torres finding the way again, learning from what didn't work out with Three Futures and properly making a synth-heavy album. All the things that felt rushed or uneasy have now been ironed out and recalibrated. Even the retained fuzz flourishes don't feel derivative. When the pieces really come together in the opening two tracks, the record almost reaches the same highs as the corresponding tracks from Sprinter, and that's saying something. Where to next?



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user ratings (21)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
turnip90210
January 31st 2020


434 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sod it, it's the 31st here.



Bit weak as far as 3.5s go, but a marked improvement over the previous one.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2020


19705 Comments


Good review man, I liked her debut but Three Futures was not good.

Will give this a try. Also, I guess we need to update that cover with a higher res one.

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mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2020


1604 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah nice job, glad someone reviewed this. I skipped three futures but liked her debut a lot. Will be checking this out

theBoneyKing
January 31st 2020


18840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Love Sprinter but Three Futures kinda sucked, hoping this one is better.

Project
January 31st 2020


4212 Comments


Three Futures was my first Torres album and I actually liked it...

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


9614 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sprinter was a fluke

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - NO DREAM

theBoneyKing
February 2nd 2020


18840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I gave this a spin this morning and was pleasantly surprised actually, the first couple tracks had me worried but "Dressing America" is really good and the rest was pleasant enough. Def not nearly as arresting as Sprinter though.

theBoneyKing
February 3rd 2020


18840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hm, second spin left me a tad more lukewarm. Also:

The album's main flaw is a rather unusual one - Mackenzie seems to have forgotten how to end songs. On numerous occasions, rather than reaching a satisfying or at least sensible conclusion, the tracks randomly sputter out and drop instrumentation.


^ This is totally on-point and it's rather distracting.

tectactoe
February 5th 2020


2718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was surprisingly great. (Haven't heard any of her prior stuff, though, so I didn't really have any expectations, good or bad.)

Funny enough I think the opening track is my absolute favorite here, but this is a very, *very* consistent album. Nothing skippable or even significantly dipping in quality.

Good shit.

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brandontaylor
February 28th 2020


936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really solid album, probably my fave torres so far i've heard

theBoneyKing
February 29th 2020


18840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Have you heard Sprinter

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2020


1604 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

even though i agree with the comments about song endings, i was pleasantly surprised by this. good stuff.



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