Pale Waves - 'Who Am I?'

6/10

When Pale Waves released their stunning debut album 'My Mind Makes Noises' in 2018, many were impressed with how they managed to recreate the then fashionable sound of the 1980s and conform it to a contemporary direction. But with that trend largely dead once again, the group reformed their ideas to create a new path that suits a post-fashion led style. So rather than take their cues from the 80s, they have focused on the 90s and 00s for their follow-up 'Who Am I?', a record whose name seems to describe the lack of fixed identity they currently suffer from.

Fans of their debut effort will be quite shocked when they switch onto 'Who Am I?' for the first time, given just how different their sound is this time around. Focusing more on the commercial pop-led elements of their sound, this new collection sees them try their hand at a far more radio friendly intention, with mixed results at times. While there is still plenty of energy and ingenuity within their guise on this release, their newfound style does sometimes jar with their image and nostalgic edge, creating a listen that seems to toe the line between cheesy and confident at times.

While the retro trip does serve up its far share of gems from time to time, 'Who Am I?' just doesn't have enough complete and utter bangers to really pull off its style. It feels like they are still working out who they want to be and a certain level of self-discovery seems to be happening right now, it just hasn't come together completely for them yet.

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