Purity Ring: Another Eternity (4AD) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, October 18th, 2019  

Purity Ring

Another Eternity

4AD

Mar 11, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Purity Ring's debut was one of 2012's most lauded releases. A sublime future-pop gem, Shrines combined astral beats, ethereal electro, and deceptively dark lyrics; surviving the tsunami of hype that surrounded it, by turning out to be a genuinely great record. Laying the foundations for a style that has been much imitated in the intervening years, as skittering electronica and twee falsetto, slowly burn deep into the core of mainstream chart music.

With that in mind, you might expect vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick to have changed direction for their follow-up and ushered in something fresh. But Another Eternity is neither particularly progressive nor is it worlds apart from their debut; it simply amplifies the tropes that made Shrines a success. James and Roddick double down on their sound and assimilate the bold mainstream sound of their peers; trading subtlety for slick production.

That's not to insinuate it isn't enjoyable. Another Eternity has a lot of fun filtering their pre-established formula through EDM ("Flood on the Floor" and "Sea Castle"), mainstream pop ("Bodyache"), and dense Trap ("Stranger Than Earth"). But by reconfiguring their sound for arenas rather than bedrooms, the Canadian duo has lost an intimacy and originality that made once them so appealing.

Of course, some elements still adhere closely to their debut, from the organic flows of "Repetition" to the densely layered synths of "Push Pull," while James' unnerving, crystalline vocals still shine on tracks such as "Begin Again" or "Stillness In Woe." But overall, this feels like little more than a competent game of catch-up for three years away, with Purity Ring now following in the footsteps of others, in a genre where they once led the pack. (www.purityringthing.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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