>> Constant lineup changes don’t allow for the thoughts in Clementine Creevy’s head to congeal and we might have to wait for another album.
The latest effort from Cherry Glazerr has a Mazzy Star like sound, nestled in a cloud of Letters to Cleo cuteness, and could have easily existed 25 years ago but still sounds modern enough to get heavy rotation on alternative and college stations around the country. “Daddi” has a driving beat and a clear melody while Cleevy bleats “Don’t hold my hand.” That line could have easily been the motto for the whole album as it seems Cherry Glazer has grown up. This is their most compelling album yet. They have slipped into a solid grunge phase that feels a bit like Sonic Youth but has a glossy radio quality like Nirvana. It’s not apparent to the average listener that there have ever been any lineup changes from Clementine Creevy’s leadership and songwriting. But a fanatic might be able to pick out the nuances in the bass and drums. As difficult as it would be to follow up such critical acclaim from their previous record ‘Apocalipstick,’ this album seems to have come close. It has a bit more range, from pop induced ambiance to a Black Francis wash.
“Self Explained” could be the album’s greatest song both lyrically and musically. It’s simple but has powerful production and a melody that tiptoes up the minor pentatonic scale. There’s a clear feel to the album, and that could be a problem if you don’t like that particular feel-- but it’s there and undeniable.
The problem with art is that the consumer can’t always understand what’s laid out in clear parables. Sometimes the artists themselves can’t be bothered with constructing the proper blueprints for the audience to draw the correct conclusion. The song “Wasted Nun” seems to make you decide which side of the coin this falls on and maybe that’s the point. Although it’s hidden indelicately behind the overdrive that is supposed to be the backbone, it’s unclear if it’s production or songwriting. Cleevy might just have that IT factor that writing does nothing for, but it can be aggravating because you should be able to put your finger on it. That’s the magic and if you’re not used to it you might turn the channel or hit next.
The drums feel unimaginative throughout the album. All of Cherry Glazerr’s albums have gasped for air behind the kit and the story of so many folks coming and going might not be an accident. There is a possibility that Creevy can’t let go of the wheel, and now, three full-length albums in and multiple lineup changes, it’s finally becoming apparent. No great band is without its Mitch Mitchell and that seems to be the biggest gap. Where’s Flea? Where’s Richard Wright? Creevy has talent, but keeping it to herself is only supporting similar sounding albums. The good song writing should be paired with driven attitude instead of the complacency that riddles this album. This is no way a disservice to the other musicians on this album, they’re not inept. This is a call to Creevy. Allow the best to work into your brain and your brain will produce the best.
The last songs on the album hint at a serious breakout. One where all musicians let go and hell breaks loose, unleashing unspeakable demons upon the world that cannot be retracted. But it falls oddly short: “I’m a stupid fish and so are you and I see myself in you” Creevy voices-- and maybe that’s the problem. It’s not an album for those who want more, but one for those who already have it all and hate what they have. “I can’t escape my one dimensional mind. I don’t want to try to pretend like I know what’s happening.” Creevy sings. But we need her to. The band and album need direction and it may be a direction that Creevy can never provide. Do we have to wait for album number four?
This album always seems ready to take off toward the next level but it never quite gets there. The lack of effort seems purposeful, buried in the magic of art, quelled only by the fear of falling down or maybe something less obvious. 3.0/5 <<