With most of the music world’s biggest organisations in high praise of everything Wolf Alice produce, Visions of a Life has received full marks for an album that is far from being perfect.
Released, 29th September, 2017, Dirty Hit Records.
Disclaimer: It’s an OK album, this is not trying to be a piece of slander of, A) Wolf Alice. B) Large music corporations.
After one playthrough of Visions of a Life, several other albums could come to mind, but not for reflecting upon previous bodies of work where comparisons are met with admiration for an LP that draws inspiration from so many others, for reminding you that there are so many albums from this year that have done what Wolf Alice have done (even if only just slightly) much better.
Heavenface, with its shoegaze layers and dreamy pop façade is a beautiful opener to Visions of a Life which instantly makes Slowdive’s Slomo sound even more enchanting and worth revisiting for the nth time. Yuk Foo’s bratish, punk-influenced sound is cool and snarky, perfectly equipped for this generations unstoppable online tongues, with a ‘no-fucks’ given attitude similarly to Sex Pistols if you’d like, yet falls short of the punk energy of IDLES, which might appear to be incomparable with IDLES heavier instrumentation and direct lyrics, but that’s exactly what Yuk Foo aspires to be. Similarly with Beautifully Unconventional, it’s specifically made for popular indie fans who want something with a slight edge that doesn’t rock the boat too much, much like one of the lads going for hot instead of a medium on his Nandos, it’s an Ed Sheeran fan friendly song.
And those are just the first three songs.
Don’t Delete The Kisses, however, is truly an unquestionably beautiful song. A love song for generations to come that perfectly summarises young love in the 21st century, it’s the unequivocal successor to the greatest love songs that have come before it.
A positive note needs to also be mentioned for Sky Musings and Space & Time, the latter being a classic indie rock track, filled with kicking drums and thrashy guitar riffs that jump between Ellie’s vocal shifting, while Sky Musings at first sounds like a White Suns track before Ellie jumps in with her most suave performance to date, before reaching a soaring crescendo with a beautiful delivery and satisfying finish.
The rest of Visions of a Life can be summarised with a shrug, a raised eyebrow and an intention to replay the album before diving into the rest that 2017 has to offer. The running theme throughout is that everything Wolf Alice do on their second album, they do so to the standard of everyone else but themselves. Rather than reaching to push expectations further, such as with Giant Peach (which was so overwhelming loved, it was repeating plays on Radio 1 before it even had a name), Visions of a Life plays to the London groups strengths and leaves it there, as it appears much more happy to be a decent album that will sell well, rather than being a great one that could run the risk of not surpassing sales expectations much like their debut did. A band that was previously awe-inspiring, to say the least, now fall into the category of Arctic Monkeys with Favourite Worst Nightmare. The second LP that sounds like a complete copy of the first yet will be undoubtedly adored by many for years to come. You’ll either love it or loathe it. I’ll be the one waiting for Wolf Alice’s Humbug era with open arms.