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


  1. I still go back to "Take My Bones Away" a ton. I have not gotten this album yet, but I am strongly considering it. My own posting has been very sparse, other than the concert posts.

  2. Do you find the sound quality off putting at all? I listen to and enjoy some of the worst recordings made by humans (Husker Du, Guided by Voices), but yet I find Purple to be hard to listen to. I'm not enough of an audiophile to identify the problem--it just sounds like my speakers have been covered in maple syrup.

    1. I think I know what you're talking about, but I'm pretty sure it's an effect they were going for. It's warm, and hazy. I like it.

  3. You could blame me for not writing any reviews, too. I did not like this much when I first spun it but maybe I will give it another spin. The red album is still the best, IMO.