An art baroque pop album from Weyes Blood, real name Natalie Mering. On this album, Natalie has managed to create a consistently ethereal atmosphere full of lush sounds and epic arrangements. The arrangements remind me of a lot of 60’s music and at times I am reminded of The Beach Boys (who I have barely listened to, but still the comparisons are apt). While the songs may remind you a bit of The Beach Boys, – or even Scott Walker, Kate Bush, or John Cale – Natalie is talented enough to go beyond being merely derivative.
There is a familiarity to the whole album that is both comforting and warming, which Natalie uses to her advantage. She lyrically disassembles the idea of love in a way that is insightful and meaningful, as the instrumentation works to elevate these ideas in an emotional way. We are captivated by it because we know what to expect, as the album’s beauty is the main focus here.
Despite being an incredible album with beautiful, lush arrangements, I still have a few of complaints.
Firstly, the mix. While not terrible, there were a few times where I felt like a certain track sounded a bit suffocated. Understandable, considering the detailed arrangements, but I expect that this will improve with more albums.
Secondly, the repetitive song structures. The number of songs that follow the “Verse/ Chorus/ Verse/ Chorus/ Bridge/ Chorus” structure is a bit too much for my liking. There are a few unique refrains and outros thrown into the mix for a couple of songs, but overall there is a lack of diversity. Luckily, sections don’t really repeat EXACTLY the same as the previous times they are played, as Natalie manages to throw in some small changes and extra instrumentation most of the time.
Thirdly, and lastly, while I like the 5th and 10th tracks on their own, I feel like the sequencing ruined it a bit for me. I like the 5th track placement because it cuts the album into halves, but to end on something like the 10th track… I prefer when albums go out with a bit of a bang. I can see the vision but I am just not entirely behind it.
Titanic Rising is a behemoth of an album, being brilliantly crafted and executed. I have a few relatively small complaints about it but Weyes Blood manages to do just about everything else perfectly. Easily one of the most beautiful, captivating albums of 2019 so far.
8/10 – Great