Aurora
The Gods We Can Touch


4.2
excellent

Review

by Dewinged STAFF
February 10th, 2022 | 40 replies


Release Date: 01/21/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You may not need a cure m'lady, but we did, so thank you.

Quitting feels great. You know what I mean, that instant relief you feel when you suplex your responsibilities from the top ropes towards outside the ring and the crowd inside your head roars and cheers for that newfound resolve and the decisions it poisons you with. I very much doubt Aurora, one of the busiest bees of the Norwegian Music and Arts spheres has ever considered quitting. After all, her career has been a non-stop express train since she was signed to Decca and Petroleum Records in 2014. You may have not heard the echoes of success of "Runaway" if you live anywhere outside Europe, but she did ring the bell with that one and charted in several European countries with her debut All My Demons Greet Me As A Friend.

The Gods We Can Touch is her third album, after releasing a long piece of music in 2019 which was split into two very generous EPs. The jump in quality from her debut to these two EPs was significant. Aurora began expanding her sound with critical emphasis on percussive elements and artists like Florence & The Machine and Björk becoming surfacing influences. In her latest record, if we were to see it on graphic form, I'd dare to say that the level of Florenceness has diminished dramatically. Her place has been taken by the whimsical magic of the musical worlds created by singer songwriter Agnes Obel at times, while any comparison with the Icelandic diva can be reduced to her use of certain background elements and nothing else. This third record is the most "Aurora" record. It oozes with confidence and it just feels more unique than any of her past works.

I won't lie though, I firmly believe that The Gods We Can Touch is essentially carried by two songs: "Cure for Me" and "The Innocent", each of one them leading the charge in their respective sides. Call it a hunch, call it a lie, but while the rest of the album is an improvement in every detail that was missing in her previous records, these two songs are simply astonishing, ladies and gentlemen. These couple of tunes are simply irresistible, terrific, impossibly charming, and that is because they show how much her melody weaving and beat making has improved over the years, turning whatever was predictable before into a surprising splash of refreshing sounds and enthralling choruses. Of these two tracks, one got to be a single, the other unfortunately not, but songs like "Heathens", which was one of the last cuts unveiled before the album release and "Exist for Love", a sweet little love song released as far as in 2020 surely helped to pave the way for Aurora's third full length.

Honestly, there's a lot to unpack on this album, a whirlwind of styles and arrangements that feel quite overwhelming the first time you traverse through the fifteen tracks included on the record. The two songs quoted above are wisely placed as beacons and they stand out as soon as the chorus grabs you by the neck and you are suddenly part of a street musical, but there are several other moments that highlight Aurora's growth on The Gods We Can Touch: "Giving in To the Love", "A Temporary High", "A Dangerous Thing" and "Blood in the Wine" won't let the flames of her blazing pop go extinct, while opener "Everything Matters", "Exhale Inhale", "This Could be a Dream" or the aforementioned "Exist For Love" fulfill their role as little breathers, focusing on soothing atmospheres and slower tempos.

The Gods We Can Touch feels like a very round pop record, a little bit of everything for everyone, and it's been smartly complemented by great visuals (the video for "Cure for Me" is mesmerizing) and an impeccable production job by Magnus Skylstad, who doubles down as a drummer in her live performances, and multi-instrumentalist and producer Matias Tellez. Definitely a strong contender for one of the most interesting pop albums of the year, but the road to December is long and full of albums, although I’d be surprised if my head is still not shaking from side to side while shouting “I don’t need it!” when the snows of the next winter start to fall. Time will tell!



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user ratings (61)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

What the hell.



“Cure for Me” BOTY (Bop of the Year): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K17df81RL9Y&ab_channel=iamAURORAVEVO

Digging: Besvarjelsen - Atlas

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


17113 Comments


Quitting feels great.

*insert whippy response here*

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


47721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

mmmhm this alb is good. feels overly citational of other artists at points and probs a little ephemeral as a whole despite being 50 minutes. would probs have been a minor standout in pop last year, but this yr already has it in pleasant footnote territory imo

cure for me is a big bop tho

Digging: Dream Dolphin - Dolphins Talk to You

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Only a few will get it, you among the few my man.



I had to google "whippy" lol

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

@johnny yeah sorry, couldn't help myself, used it to get out of the non-rev, beaten self-esteem swamp I'm in atm.



Cure for Me is crazy, and I tell u, the rest will grow on you.

Purpl3Spartan
February 10th 2022


3557 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great rev as always.



Album was a surprise for me having never heard about her previously

Digging:

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks Purp. Same here, I saw her on a live performance with Wardruna on YT last year and it was really cool. This was a pleasant surprise.

Demon of the Fall
February 10th 2022


24645 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm surprised Johnny didn't lynch you for putting 'Post' in the rec by reviewer section, he is quick to anger over such things.

I enjoyed this considerably... it's maybe worn off a little since once it became overly familiar (+ most things here kind of sound like something else), but her voice is lovely and the arrangements are pretty.

Digging: Gospel - The Loser

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


47721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh lol sorry dewi, i meant the album itself not yor rev. can tolerate Post in the recs, but you should probs do the honest thing and add Pure Heroine for that adorable total ripoff on Heathens

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Oooops my bad homie. Though you were right anyways.



Post in the recs is because the drums at the end of The Innocent remind me of Big Time Sensuality which is in... Debut. Great, Dewi. Can't even rec properly these days.

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


2013 Comments


I'm gonna put the opening monologue here about quitting on my gravestone. Dewi words are the best words

Egarran
February 10th 2022


27847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet. You're the first reviewer I see who hypes The Innocent, but I agree.

Digging: Spectral Wound - A Diabolic Thirst

NorthernSkylark
February 10th 2022


12112 Comments


Can I kick it?


















Yes you can!


Digging: Binker and Moses - Feeding the Machine

daiguit91Kider
February 10th 2022


52 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm maybe the biggest Aurora stan here (one of the only 3 people that has her first album rated 5 on this site) and this is for me her worst album, but still really good. I'm glad that finally more people are discovering, re-discovering and listening more from her and liking it su much.



I would rate her albums: Demons > Step I > Step II > Gods

Egarran
February 10th 2022


27847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's good to have a Stan. Some people were really swooning over Demons, so we should have one.



Project
February 10th 2022


5416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is it weird that I hear more Florence mostly in the second half of this, and that I like it better than the first?

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Nah, I'm not too happy how I managed her influences on the review, I said the Florence sound is gone but Is indeed still there in good measure, gonna edit that bit around.



@daiguit cool, i listened to her discog last week, and I didn't even remember I had Demons rated. Might be because of familiarity, but I think this is way better than anything she has done before, obviously different opinions! The EPs had some interesting stuff though.

daiguit91Kider
February 11th 2022


52 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Dewinged yeah no problem, I recommend to check them again, my first time with that album was kind of like meh, but with time it became my favorite although I think Step I is overall the best one. Like I said I still liked the new one but I feel like its a little bit all over the place and more pop oriented that the others.



Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2022


28019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Yeah that I agree, it feels she developed her sound to be more commercial in a way, while Demons had this ethereal feel to it. I definitely wanna spend more time with her music since this one at first didn't make a strong impression either.

Slex
February 11th 2022


13799 Comments


Well dammit Dewi I have too much to listen to but this seems an offer I can't refuse

Digging: My Chemical Romance - I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love



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