Charly Bliss: Young Enough (Barsuk) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Charly Bliss

Young Enough

Barsuk

May 10, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


With 2017's debut album, Guppy, boasting indie disco floor-filler "Ruby," New York City's Charly Bliss reintroduced the pop tunes to post-grunge with great and widely praised effect. A brief and brisk album, bristling with scratchy guitar and thundering drum parts, it introduced the world to Eva Hendricks' honeyed vocals and contrastingly caustic worldview.

On Young Enough, a lengthier, more polished record, the pop levels are peaking while the detuned guitars provide more of a supporting role to the glistening production, layered synths, and Hendricks' iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove vocal intonations.

There's really nothing on here that you wouldn't conservatively describe as a massive fucking hit. Maybe the Lana Del Rey-like interlude of  "Fighting in the Dark" doesn't quite pass muster but everything else? Pop gold.

What's so wonderful about this record is that the sweeter the songs sound, the harder Hendricks' medicine is to swallow; on "Chat Room," an unbelievably bright 'n' breezy banger, she describes her journey from sexual assault to self-realization with the direct and familiar line "I was fazed in the spotlight/His word against mine."

"Capacity," with an unforgettable tune, child-like keys, and an Alvvays-like sunlit vibrancy offers the glorious kiss-off "It's got nothing to do with me" in contrast with the stark "I can barely keep myself afloat when I'm not saving you."

These kinds of damning, doubting themes dominate the record; "Under You" throws up pop-punk shimmer, a borrowed Superchunk melody, and some sweet '50s schtick to combat lines like "Every time you say my name I think it must be fake/How can I believe it's real?"

Turning her venom on herself on the title track, Hendricks offers "We're young enough to believe it should hurt this much" in a hymn to adoration that's redolent of teenage obsession and, musically, takes a Springsteen step towards stadia. She confesses, "I crushed you, controlled you/I loved you too much."

Bold ballad "Hurt Me" takes a look at the more tragic elements of love. "Eyes like a funeral, mouth like a bruise," she observes on the deadliest line of the record.  The gigantic "Hard to Believe" features precision percussion from Sam Hendricks, a familiar, inescapable riff from Spencer Fox (who was a voice actor in one of the greatest motion pictures of our time, sporting dog-fest Air Buddies), and is a paean to a relationship that's impossible to let go of. "Tomorrow is coming/I know you don't love me." As devastating as these statements are, the fact is that they're delivered in the form of what sound unerringly like a series of number one hit singles.

A little early in arriving, perhaps, this is one of those rare records that sounds like a Greatest Hits compilation and simultaneously a summer mixtape while, by the time winter rolls around, we'll be digging deeper into the reflective, cracked mirror lyrics to provide us with a little familiar, melancholic comfort. It's essential. Go get it. (www.charlybliss.com)

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 7/10



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.