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Friday, March 25, 2016

Adore Life

With their second album, Adore Life, Savages have established themselves as one of the pre-eminent hard rock bands currently recording. As am always on the hunt for good rock albums, which are few and far between these days, I'm glad to consider Savages a reliable source, along with The Black Keys and anything by Jack White.

There's also something interesting about this record--it's full of positive messages. There debut album, Silence Yourself, had familiar lyrics for a hard-rock band--death, anger, despair. But apparently lyricist and vocalist Jhenny Beth has had things go her way lately. Consider that album title, and the accompanying song (just called "Adore". Now, the song is not about rainbows and lollipops--the bass line sounds like it comes from a horror movie, and the vocal indicates a relationship not going well, but Beth insists that she adores life:

"I understand the urgency of life
In the distance there is truth which cuts like a knife
Maybe I will die tomorrow
So I need to say
I adore life"

The opening track, "The Answer," contains the line, "Love is the answer," which sounds mire like something recorded in 1967. Again, the song is ambiguous, with the first lines, "If you don't love me, you don't love anybody," which could be the words of a stalker.

Then again, there are songs called "Evil," and "Sad Person," and the most radio-friendly song, "T.I.W.Y.G.":

"This is what you get when you mess with love
A morning in darkness
The eye of a storm
Suffering, straight from the gods
No medicine, no drugs"

So maybe they isn't such an upbeat record. Maybe it's what you find inside it, which is great. Beth's lyrics aren't obscure, they're just very open to interpretation.

As with the first record, the instrumentation is terrific, by bassist Ayse Hassan, Fay Milton on drums, and Gemma Thompson on guitar. Beth's voice at times sounds eerily like Patti Smith, which is not a bad person to sound like.

I haven't been to a concert in a rock club in a long time, but I would love to see Savages. A friend of mine is seeing them in Philadelphia next week, and I'm jealous. They were in Vegas last August, but I missed them. Oh well.

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