Review Summary: 20,000 gecs

My music isn’t for everyone and that’s on purpose.

Lauren Bousfield does not cater to an audience comfortable in their own skin, and has no respect for fixed delineations. Her target is-that-a-demographic? can knock themselves out with the world's most violent cocktail of rampaging breakcore, pounding electro-industrial, hyperpop-adjacent modulated vocals, snippets of harsh noise, and classically-informed supporting instrumentals. The breadth of that list is neither a gimmick nor an innocuous juggling act: the constituent elements maintain an extremely abrasive dialogue with one another, and their chaotic fission and fusion belie a deceptively consistent central appeal. Bousfield's knack for supporting stylistic pyrotechnics with gratification-oriented songwriting chops sits shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes Drumcorps, Dai Dai Dai, and Machine Girl c.RePorpoised Phantasies, yet even in such company her approach stands out as idiosyncratic. New listeners can expect a live boombox blasting the Carmina Burana cantata, kersplashing into a bathtub full of cat piss and providing an impromptu battery for a janky washing machine's worth of oversize hoodies soiled with umpteen years of dissociative secretions and illegally obtained samples of Dylan Brady's blood. It is chaos - but those stains ain't coming out any other way, and Bousfield's methodology wears its points of distinction well as such.

It’s intended to feel huge and to make the listener feel small, to kind of replicate how panic attacks feel…

Well, uh, actually, yes, exactly, that: 'panic attack' is about the only shape for it it. No other polygon could hold that level of jagged contour: background vocals hyperventilating, beats racketing into meltdown, ominous flurries of melodies-in-reverse swooping up your chest and somehow stalling exactly a hair's breadth behind the open oh fuck of your mouth. Bousfield LP #3 Salesforce wastes absolutely no time in laying it on - similarly to its tearaway predecessor Palimpsest (2020), this record comes straight out of the gates with a surefire hellraiser: "Mansions No One Wants To Buy For Any Price" epitomises every one of Bousfield's apparent tropes in its stampeding breaks, Mission Impossible piano hooks, and radioactive carnival of a finale. Its familiar set of thrills belies a new sense of heft in its production - in contrast to Palimpsest's hurricane of treble, Bousfield has fleshed the low end of her arsenal out with considerable depth, such that the inevitable (please, for the love of God) headphone experience is more a punishing marathon of the senses than, well, a punishing punishment. Where once her beats [click]ed, here they [thwack]; where once lead instruments stabbed and vanished, here their resonance demands Richter data.

Very good - you'll be grateful for this throughout the record, but nowhere more than on the following "Hazer", potentially the most violent track Bousfield has ever put her name to. This comes courtesy of a practically destined feature from scream queen Ada Rook (of solo and Black Dresses fame). Bousfield plays a rather smart bait-and-switch here, confining Rook's trademark harshes to one blistering opening minute, and setting this against one of the album's most robust pop choruses (to which Rook lends her cleans). Both sides feed on each other's instability. Their scope is nuclear, their panic non-negotiable. One does feel rather small.

…but usually somewhere throughout it there’s this sense of resistance to that in the form of hope, empathy and just a sense of being heard.

This realisation may come too little, too late for some, but yes indeed - Salesforce is neither purely nor indulgently chaotic. Bousfield's devotion to full-spectrum clarity goes beyond her production glow up: the individual elements of her palette now enjoy song-sized trajectories, be they hyperpop mania ("Permanently Closed", "Headstone Prices On Credit"), classical flourish ("Hail Sound", "Halt Draft") or flashcore-adjacent percussive rampages ("Narrow Down Concepts Force Meaning", "Debtors Prison Click Here Disney Needs To See This"). This is a subtle, far-reaching departure from Palimpsest's umpteen self-cancelling possibilities, suggesting a life-instinct and self-confidence previously all but camouflaged in her work. There's a palpable labour-of-love factor to this record that compensates for what could never otherwise be outright uplifting; her wholehearted commitment to her sound is empowering in itself. The way in which "Permanently Closed" balances its cascading anxiety with a four-to-the-floor earworm is perhaps the biggest revelation here, but the greater focus on individual styles also enables Bousfield to draw on smart sequencing and alternate her strengths across the album. The interplay here too is pleasing.

However, her new approach does carry one unfortunate side-effect: Bousfield places one slight yet decisive increment of faith too many in the strength of her own voice. Her approach to vocals - highly reverberated, breath-heavy, akin hearing the most urgent of melodies through a thunderstorm - worked a treat on Palimpsest's interminable convection of foreground and background layers, but on Salesforce's comparatively robust arrangements, she finds herself carrying entire songs. While Bousfield's vocal contributions add a crucial element of trepidation to many of these tracks, they lack the force to tie erratic ("Deserted Olympic Villages") or mic-centric ("Organizational Rot") numbers together when afforded a full spotlight.

On the whole, however, Salesforce does an admirable job of streamlining Bousfield's sound without foregoing too much of its frenetic bombast. It makes for a worthy follow-up to Palimpsest, though I would hazard that none of the refinements it makes on that album's brief are quite enough to transcend the sheer extremes of disorienting fluster it reached at the most unexpected junctures. The hysteria on offer here is a little less relentless, but many may find it more approachable as such.




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user ratings (27)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2023


61251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Don't love this as much as Palimpsest as a fuck you and your piece or mind package, but it's arguably a better record and LB's prod is getting a little scary at this point

Thanx Komp for the proof you are an agent of chaos

Review citation from https://www.debaser.ca/news/pique-artist-interview-lauren-bousfield

Ryus
July 10th 2023


37459 Comments


interesting

someone
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2023


6758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Didn't know new Lauren was dropping. On the playlist it goes.



Johnny without a cheeky handle looks suspicious. Did something serious happen?

SomeCallMeTim
July 10th 2023


4345 Comments


I'm gonna gec

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2023


10307 Comments


“The hysteria on offer here is be a little less relentless”

I assume you don’t need the “be”

Also mission impossible looks like it’s boinking piano

Otherwise absolutely adore this write up holy heck balls

Kompys2000
Emeritus
July 10th 2023


9488 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good shit good write ada track slaps bigly this seems like a grower!! I kinda maybe agree on the vocals but this has so many good ideas so much PLAYLIST potential

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2023


61251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

oh gawd an altered syntax/reconjugation/no deletion error my FAVOURITE thank you asleep fix'd

komp kinda surprised if you of all folks haven't heard Palimpsest, defs interested to hear your take on that relative to this

"Didn't know new Lauren was dropping"

ngl neither did i, but i've developed a healthy habit of coming the rym database for upcoming releases every time the sput weekly releases blog contains under 3 exciting albums and, um, was thrilled to learn about this like 2 days before

"Did something serious happen?"

iirc this was to do with an editing war on the Sleep Token wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Take_Me_Back_to_Eden&action=history), where it was brought to my attention that whatever i was rocking at the time did not uphold a professional image. the war was LOST though, and so this must change soon

Mort.
July 10th 2023


25807 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'Bousfield's knack for supporting stylistic pyrotechnics with gratification-oriented songwriting chops sits shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes Drumcorps, Dai Dai Dai, and Machine Girl c.RePorpoised Phantasies, yet even in such company her approach stands out as idiosyncratic.'



bruh are you trying to hook me cos right now im gagging for it

Digging: Melt-Banana - Teeny Shiny

Mort.
July 10th 2023


25807 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z84NzUhqVU4



you might like this johnny

Purpl3Spartan
July 11th 2023


8775 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Cursed summary

pizzamachine
July 11th 2023


27394 Comments


Oh, this is cool. I was like whydoesonetracksoundlikeAdaRook damn I’m good

parksungjoon
July 11th 2023


47235 Comments


where did your degree in vaguely experimental breaks go

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2023


61251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

oh damn lol *ambient breaks, had to jettison for this boi bc it's sure as shit not ambient

parksungjoon
July 11th 2023


47235 Comments


right ambient breaks

parksungjoon
July 11th 2023


47235 Comments


Stop listening to the government and media. Climate change is nothing more than a wealth redistribution scam. If you think I’m wrong, answer me this: If CO2 is so harmful, why do plants breathe it in? Also, how can CO2, which comprises only 0.04% (400ppm) of our atmosphere cause so much harm? It can’t.


JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2023


61251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

nice don't call me

dedex
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2023


12788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

very beaut writeup Johnny

denboy
July 11th 2023


1214 Comments


anyone else literally triggered by the album title

someone
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2023


6758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You ain't triggered, you've been shot.

Sharenge
July 11th 2023


5454 Comments


nice album art



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