Washed Out - Purple Noon | Album Review
Atlanta-based producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Washed Out, a.k.a Ernest Greene, is back with the release of his fourth LP, "Purple Noon". Following 2017's Mister Mellow album, Purple Noon sees Greene returning back to sub-pop, drawing upon the coastlines of the Mediterranean and the island's culture to develop a Balearic-tinged disco sound. There's a sense of longing and distance in Greene's voice that captivates your attention and makes him stand out in the chill-wave genre.
What I Like:
While many critics argue that Greene's new album is more streamlined than his previous projects, I personally liked multiple songs on the album and really enjoyed the Mediterranean appeal.
The album opener, "Too Late" showcases Greene's eerie voice and blends the drums with synth to develop a dream-pop sound. With lyrics like, "The time was right/And our night's not over, yet/Is it too late to fall in love tonight?", the track tells the story of a chance encounter and whether or not its passion could lead to something more. Personally, this is my favourite song on the album and is the perfect song to listen to when you're driving home at night.
"Face Up" is track two on the album, and the first opening notes bring to mind the song "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. The lyrics of the song pull at your heartstrings as they tell the story of someone who is unsure whether their current relationship can be sustained any longer . "You won't have to lie/We just need to say goodbye/It's about time/The truth comes out", Greene sings, conveying the message to face one's doubts and to truly analyze the course of the relationship.
"Hide" is one of the faster paced-songs on the album and follows the story put forth in "Face Up". Blending layered synths and the drums, the song has a kind of moping 80s-pop sound. "Can you make it on your own?/Can you face yourself alone, alone?" Greene asks, portraying how the relationship is truly near the breaking point.
What I Didn't Like:
Personally, I really enjoyed listening to multiple songs on the album, however, I found that many songs felt repetitive and did not add to the album. A lot of the songs sounded very similar to one another in both the synth production and the lyrical content, making the album lack in emotional intensity and in producing technically interesting music. As a result, the album falters and feels too safe.
Overall, I think "Purple Noon" has some great chillwave songs that are perfect to listen to at night or as background music. I really enjoyed the Mediterranean appeal of the songs, although, I did find that after a while, I grew bored of listening to the album and found many songs to be monotonous. Therefore, my overall score for the album is...