Review: My Mind Makes Noises by Pale Waves

My Mind Makes Noises by Pale WavesThe press – and one’s first impressions – of Pale Waves are a contradiction. They’ve been described as, among others, purveyor of “goth pop”; visually, vocalists (and songwriters) Heather Baron-Gracie and Ciara Doran play the part, complete with the eyeliner. Musically, though, they lean more on the pop side. Sure, you can say that the Cure were “goth pop” – and if you approach it that way then yes, they are goth pop – but Pale Waves are glossy pop through and through, with the aural language and the Taylor Swift-esque enunciation at points. If you’re not watching the music videos, things get a bit clearer. My Mind Makes Noises is the debut from the much-touted British quartet, and to its credit their songs are well-crafted. Sometimes it feels like a throwback, even, to when the closest thing you’ll have to controversy is what you look like compared to what you say. But at fourteen tracks this album is bloated, and halfway through you’ve heard all the tricks and are just listening to finish it rather than to enjoy. (And the prerequisite thoughtful acoustic track comes at the very end.) But amidst my short attention span I feel there is potential in Pale Waves. Given enough focus they can, and will, create good pop songs. I just wish I did not have to wait long for it. [NB]3/5

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