Album Review: Warpaint – The Fool

By on Tuesday, 9th November 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Since their 2008 EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’, Warpaint have been on the radar of all those with an interest in atmospheric rock. Now two years on, the all female quartet have released their debut album entitled ‘The Fool’.

Starting with the exceptionally chilled ‘Set Your Arms Down’, the tone of the LP is set almost instantly. Soft, slow and relaxed music is intertwined with some great vocals from front woman Emily Kokal. Her voice is so delicate yet so powerful, it’s almost entrancing at times. Comparable to artists such as the xx and jj, the experimental minimalism of Warpaint is quite complex. Many layers in each track are so well timed and used so precisely that every nuance is a necessity. Tracks such as ‘Warpaint’ and ‘Majesty’ are brilliant examples of how well structured the Los Angeles foursome are.

As good as the album is, there are still two stand out tracks. ‘Undertow’ is really quite an amazing song. With such a strong vocal performance, you’re instantly sucked in. With it’s slight grungy feel and catchy lyrics, it’s got all the workings of a fantastic single. (Watch the video for it below).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMkqbY0oGKQ[/youtube]

Another really interesting track on the LP is ‘Baby’. Taking a step away from the atmospheric minimalism from earlier in the album, ‘Baby’ is an acoustic affair. At times it sounds like a more credible Taylor Swift, but there’s so much more to it than that. It’s a true love song, packed with emotion. The lyric “you live your life like a page from the book of my fantasy” is destined to be sung live by thousands of fans.

However, as good as ‘The Fool’ is, it can become a bit of a dirge. As all the songs on the album are between 4 and 7 minutes, sometimes songs last longer than necessary. ‘Composure’ is poppier compared to some of the tracks, but runs the risk of sounding stale. ‘Bees’, also, is sometimes a hard listen. At various points it can seem a little unfocused and disjointed, but it’s always brought back to the main.

The LP is a really good listen, with so much to find to in just nine tracks. ‘Undertow’ in itself is a good enough reason to buy it. The album mixes such a variety of different styles from progressive rock to country, there’s something for everyone.

8.5/10

Warpaint’s ‘The Fool’ is available now.

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