Purity Ring's long awaited debut is not met with disappointment. The album itself is a creative mishmash of visceral imagery, ethereal atmospheres, haunting auras, and spiritual/otherworldly ghastliness. 'Shrines' opens with Crawlersout a gorgeous and heavily synthesized track that throws you straight into Purity Ring's penchant for visceral, natural, and somewhat gothic imagery. With distorted more masculine sounding vocals to compliment Megan Jones' somewhat auto-tuned vocals, the track almost seems to be colloquial with the line "to cover the hills, to keep them crawlers out". The rest of the album plays out quite similarly. And perhaps, this is the main fault of the album. While never bad or displeasing, some of the songs seem slightly formulaic. While yes, crispy beats, atmospheric synths, visceral and involved lyrics are all fantastic things, in the order in which they're all presented make some of the songs seem similar or repetitive. However, that is basically the only criticism I can make on 'Shrines'. Fans will already find themselves in love with tracks they've always known from Purity Ring, Obedear, Belispeak, and Ungirthed.
Purity Ring- Obedear
Personal favorites of mine from 'Shrines' would be Amenamy, Saltkin, Lofticries, and Belispeak. Each for different reasons, I love Lofticries for its completely amassing feeling, the whole track feels cinematic and surrounding and it is just purely gorgeous. Belispeak feels somewhat overwhelming but it is the type of overwhelming that you don't quite mind, ironically, it is also one of the most raw tracks from the album and features some of the quietest production. Amenamy is just too good for words, slightly off kilter, the track slides around in its emotions, its sweetness. Amenamy is as much of a dance floor smash as any track could be, primed for dancing lucidly while maintaining the trendiest of trendy aesthetics. But I think I have to say that the strongest track from the album is Saltkin. Saltkin maintains Purity Ring's style but sets it to a more relaxed pace that at times almost feels dancehall. But when that sub-bass kicks, ooohhhhhh.
Purity Ring- Belispeak
Perhaps what is most important to me in some respects is the carefulness that resounds from Purity Ring's music. Song writing is important and Purity Ring's very exacting construction of anatomy and mystery makes every listen a reveal of something new. With the undeniable addictive-feeling of their dream-pop meets sometimes hip-hop inspired, and always hard hitting bass Purity Ring have delivered an album that does anything but disappoint. Get the album from iTunes or Amazon.
(image from http://www.chartattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Purity-pack-shot.jpeg)