Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Baroness: Purple (2015)

Mostly I blame myself for the lack of posting lately, but you can also blame Baroness. These assholes have been keeping me from checking out new music, because I keep listening to Purple. I haven't had time to listen to much of anything else, and I haven't needed to.

I know you've probably already heard it by now, or maybe you don't care about the band. But either way, it deserves another listen. I've been listening to it constantly. Several times each week--sometimes twice in a day--since it came out six months ago. I haven't listened to a single album this much since the days of the CD, which for me has been over for more than a decade.

Less experimental than its predecessor, Purple distills the essence of Baroness as a rock band, presenting a more focused, yet more fully realized picture than did Yellow & Green. It also makes the band's finest statement to date. That's saying a lot when you consider this is (at its core) the same band who created Blue Record.

These are catchy, pure rock songs, with masterfully crafted hooks and just enough solo shred to remind you of what they can do. It's less melancholic than their prior masterwork (Blue), but only in the sense that it's more dynamic. It hits that melancholy, with more joy, more hope, more lament, and--surprisingly, considering this is no longer a metal band--more anger.

Simply put, these are as good as the best riffs Baroness have written, in some of the best songs they've performed, and certainly the best collection of songs they've put together. Now, put that in the high-resolution realm of a rich, textured mix.

This is the defining album in an already-impressive catalog. And it's one to which I will keep returning for many years to come.

The Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars