Wolf Alice - 'Blue Weekend'

9/10

The rule of diminishing returns has always been a solid marker for what we can expect from bands that make a huge impression very early on, but Wolf Alice seem to be bucking that trend right now. When they released their debut album 'My Love Is Cool' in 2015, it was met with enormous approval from both music fans and critics alike, nominated for that year's Mercury Music Prize. But when they followed it up in 2017 with 'Visions Of A Life', it not only surpassed many expectations, it went onto win the Mercury Music Prize the following year. Now they return with their third effort 'Blue Weekend', a record that could well be their best to date.

What seems to have shifted most between this and their previous efforts is how much more focused they are on creating a singular body of work, rather than something with the odd radio-friendly single thrown in for promotional purposes. 'Blue Weekend' has this solid confidence running through it where the band feel they not only have a solid grip on their direction, but also don't feel the need to pander to anyone outside of their inner fanbase. This has resulted in a brilliantly firm and controlled return that creates a vivid and broad soundscape throughout, and results in one of the most enticing records we have heard all year.

You won't find many massive hooks or commercial tidbits on here, instead 'Blue Weekend' acts as a journey into the very soul of Wolf Alice, pulling out all the complex emotion and charm they have given us in the past. It is very rare for a band to come back stronger after such a solid run so far, but it is becoming very clear that Wolf Alice are not just another flash-in-the-pan outfit but one that will be with us for many years to come.

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