Wolf Alice’s latest album ‘Blue Weekend’ has received a lot of acclaim. Like A LOT. As of writing, the album has a score of 96/100 on review aggregator site Metacritic. Only two albums have received a score of 96 or more in this last decade (‘Fiona Apple’ in 2020 with ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’ (98) and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with ‘Ghosteen’ in 2019 (96)). Such acclaim can be a double-edged sword; on the one hand it raises the profile of your album, potentially making it an instant classic. On the other hand, it can be a recipe for disappointment, creating impossible expectations for your album to live up to.
‘Blue Weekend’ is by far, Wolf Alice’s grandest album to date; with luscious instrumentation and production underpinning it’s tracks. Sometimes this can make the album feel a tad over-produced, but at other times, the result is truly transcendent. The song ‘Delicious Things’ feels almost heavenly as it moves into the chorus of “I wont say no, I’ll give it a go” and the track is a moving account of not feeling like you belong somewhere but making a go of it, while simultaneously craving the comfort of familiarity (“I don’t belong here, though it really is quite fun here / “Hey, is mum there? It’s just me, I felt like calling””). Elsewhere, the album has two thumping, hard rock tracks: ‘Smile’ and ‘Play The Greatest Hits’. The former works, by the far, the best; with it’s no-f*cks-given lyricism (“I am what I am and I’m good at it / And you don’t like me? Well that isn’t f*cking relevant”).
Ultimately, ‘Blue Weekend’ may not be the perfect album; not all of it’s bold choices pay off. But when ‘Blue Weekend’ does stick the landing, the results are incredible; a reminder of why some have labelled the quartet the best band in the world.
Best Tracks: Delicious Things, Smile, Feeling Myself, The Last Man on Earth, Safe From Heartbreak (If you never fall in love)
Worst Tracks: Play The Greatest Hits