Yeule
softscars


4.3
superb

Review

by JohnnyoftheWell STAFF
September 23rd, 2023 | 495 replies


Release Date: 09/22/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yeule chooses life, sweetens up their sound, and drops pop AOTY for the third time running.

After two albums of waif-like shimmerings steeped in dissociation and depression, it’s almost shocking to hear what a difference a brighter outlook and apparent stability have made for Yeule. Dubbed a healing record, their latest effort softscars surfaces triumphantly from the traumatic nadir documented only last year on the masterpiece Glitch Princess, kicking down the walls of bedroom space within its opening seconds and brimming with sunlight from thereon out. Opener “x w x” elicits one sharp exhalation after another with its howling guitars and walls of shrieks, as cathartic as anything Yeule has made, but a good deal less morbid; the track’s breakneck pacing and tearaway energy are an unsustainable rush, yet its momentum seems to grasp outward rather than cave inward. So it goes for the rest of the album: these songs embrace life head-on, and while they are hardly reticent to explore uncomfortable subject matter (“software update” features a particularly bruising set of images), there’s a new confidence behind it that never feels anything less than affirmative. Lead single “sulky baby” eschews angst entirely in a leisurely swoon; the one-two album highlight of “inferno” and “bloodbunny” splits the atom with monosyllabic chants, each utterance a glimpse at the kind of intimate emotional sanctuary few would open to the world; late-game banger “cyber meat” cranks the album’s exuberance to hyperactive heights and throws down a barrage of lyrical calling cards that, for perhaps the first time, scan less as do-or-die performative self-manifestations, and more as simple acts of playfulness. It’s astonishing how luridly Yeule maps the cracks in their own mental health across the album, yet I can hardly imagine anyone else radiating so much joy and vitality at every turn in doing so. They confront largely the same demons as ever with vast newfound strength, and to call softscars ‘cleansing’ as such would be a gross understatement.

This is all the more remarkable for how the record showcases their most cohesive and potentially most versatile stylistic palette to date. Returning fans will find the likes of “softscars”, “ghosts” and “bloodbunny” full of familiar glitchy flourishes, and “inferno” within a stone’s throw of Serotonin II’s understated reveries, but there’s a much more ‘physical’ presence to the music here. Yeule delivers their least modulated vocal tracks to date and complements their ultra-digital production with a full arsenal of guitars: the verses of “software update” and “aphex twin flame” are practically unplugged by their usual standards, while “dazies”’ rollicking shoegaze and “software update”’s clamorous bridge both play like a fresh vitalisation of the dissociated plug-in warfare landmarked by the Downfall of the Neon Youth e-rock crowd. The heft and concrete presence of these fresh touches are entirely appropriate given the flush in this album’s cheeks and the rush of blood in its veins. I’ve seen “ghosts”’ zany verses and lilting climax compared to the classic refrain of Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl”, a superficially accurate similarity that touches a deeper theme: that Yeule now packs the same warmth as perhaps the most infamously maximalist hugs-and-smiles collective in music tells you all you need about the level they’re operating on at this point. Lord knows where they’ll go from here.




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user ratings (201)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2023


60514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Didn't *quite* connect with this on the same level as Glitch Princess, but it was the perfect next step and a ludicrously tight record end-to-end. Probably my most played 2023 record within 2! days!, really hard to focus in on things to say about it there are many!!!

Overall top 3 for this year along with Chepang and Tujiko Noriko

Sinternet
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2023


26593 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Choose life.

Choose 90's gaze admiration done right.

Choose euphoric positivity.

Choose owning your own persona.

Choose a side of comforting glitches.

Choose atmosphere, reverb out the ass,

hushed whispers, and warbled release.

Choose album of the year, the best album of your career



Choose yeule.

Gyromania
September 24th 2023


37116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Crépuscule I & II for sure top 3 this year, prob Coronet Juniper too - then again, this has been a pretty lacking year for music. apparently a bunch of great pop stuff dropped recently? this was the only thing on my radar though.



after a few spins idt this threatens GP, but it's still incredible. for sure more accessible for people who are unfamiliar with Yeule.





Pikazilla
September 24th 2023


29797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best yeule

rabidfish
September 24th 2023


8697 Comments


god i hate the cover art.
it's pretty good so far

rabidfish
September 24th 2023


8697 Comments


i was gonna say, that's so grimes-core lol
i think the pop aspect is much more well constructed and elaborated here. The pallet, the pacing, the sensibilities for texture-- It's more interesting.

TheGreatEscaper
September 24th 2023


33 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I love that the sentiment of this review is basically 'Yeule entering Solar Power era except the music is still good'

Kompys2000
Emeritus
September 24th 2023


9467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Software update is devastating

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2023


60514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Was on the verge of throwing in a scathing contrast between software update and I wanna be software lol - tells you everything you need to know about the difference in earnestness, depth and imagination between Yeule and Grimes. That song thru Bloodbunny was where this really went up a level for me, think the second half narrowly edges it out in general

And ngl I'd forgotten that Solar Power existed while writing this - dunno if that comparison holds up beyond vapid posivibes overtones that do this a disservice

DoofDoof
September 24th 2023


15102 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the 90s aesthetic stuff on this is very nice

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2023


5479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

kid a for gen z fr

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2023


18257 Comments


Johnny core in full swing. It’s a sight to see for sure.

Colton32
September 24th 2023


2 Comments


is this grimes

Gyromania
September 24th 2023


37116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no. stay away

Kompys2000
Emeritus
September 24th 2023


9467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol wanna be software def crossed my mind too. Sort of an interesting juxtaposition as like the sales pitch of transhumanism vs the reality



Stg every other day now I'm getting into some new artist who does a Grimes type thing better than Grimes has in a decade/ever

markjamie
September 24th 2023


717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No argument that Yeule's software song is way better than Grimes'. Or even that Yeule has been producing the better music for the last few years. But they have some way to go to rival the influence and impact of Visions or Art Angels. They haven't come close to the majesty of Oblivion, REALiTi or Flesh Without Blood yet. Yet.

PotsyTater
September 24th 2023


10100 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is vastly better than fart angels and like the 80% of visions that isn’t oblivion or genesis

FrozenFirebug
September 24th 2023


854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haven't listened but

this is vastly better than the worst pop album of 2015 [2]

PotsyTater
September 24th 2023


10100 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Based

Gyromania
September 24th 2023


37116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"This is vastly better than fart angels and like the 80% of visions that isn’t oblivion or genesis"



or skin... maybe. it's been a while



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