Washed Out: Purple Noon (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, May 25th, 2024  

Purple Noon

Sub Pop

Aug 07, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Purple Noon, the fourth full-length album from Washed Out, is built on a foundation of smooth electronics, disarming melodies, and sharp visuals. Musically, it’s a panorama of lush, expressive songs buoyed by Ernest Greene’s penchant for inventing atmosphere. His electronic pulses are strong enough to shake the dust from the summer doldrums but also to soundtrack it. Purple Noon is painted in soft lines, sweet melodies, and a variety of influences, but where Greene might have once rested on the momentum of chillwave to carry him along, on Purple Noon he sounds more assured and more interested in stretching his abilities as a singer to accompany his electro pop soundscapes.

Album opener “Too Late” doesn’t waste time warming up. Like much of Washed Out’s craftiest songs, it is immediately engaging; a perfectly balanced track that visually transports you to lucid landscapes. “Face Up” slows the tempo but amplifies the echo inside the electronics and boosts the drums; “Game of Chance” uses acoustic guitar doused in reverb to build out the melodies; while “Hide” pulses with a heartbeat that calls back to the slick grittiness of noir detective genres.

Purple Moon hangs together more cohesively than previous Washed Out albums; there’s a hazy theme that suggests a picturesque love story on the Mediterranean Sea—an area Greene drew inspiration from during songwriting. The loose lyrical concept leads to some love song clichés: “My heart is burning up/can never get enough/think I’m addicted to your love,” from “Paralyzed” is a good example. But where the words fail, Greene’s musical knowledge steps in and the music soars. Purple Noon is filled with Greene’s confident, fuller sound. It’s one big step up for Washed Out. (www.washedout.net)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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