Alvvays has released the hottest album of the fall just days before their visit to Salt Lake City. As Zion welcomes Alvvays, a few things you should know about the Blue Rev album, their third. It is a gauzy, absolute pop delight. Not overthought, not overwrought. Recorded live to tape, with a bit of gussying up after-the-fact. It’s sensational, beyond what was previewed in their July single “The Pharmacist.”
Let’s have a look shall vvee?
Blue Rev album has a little of everything
Even album opener and first single “The Pharmacist” feels like a pop song cross-bred with distorted guitar. But the solo itself is simple, clean, perfectly lovely. My early favorite on the Blue Rev album is “Easy On Your Own,” which starts with some noisy dream pop — and then out comes the delightful and too-short pop chorus of the year:
“If you don’t like it, well
Say it’s over, well…
Does it get easier on your own?
Does it get easier on your own?“
Treat yourself to three minutes of “Easy On Your Own.”
Mocking, rocking, clever Blue Rev album
Most of the songs on Blue Rev are two to three minutes long. Some songs as short as a minute and change, like a Ramones ditty. Mad props for any band that casts its antagonist boyfriend as Tom Verlaine of Television on the aptly titled “Tom Verlaine.”
That when you walk away.
It’s gonna be for good.
You were my Tom Verlaine,
Just sitting on the hood.”
But also on “Very Online Guy,” Alvvays shows their sardonic humor on the Blue Rev album. It inverts the traditional influencer criticisms and targets the perfect Insta male. Another mashup in less than 2.5 minutes…80’s wave, power pop and a blithe disco walkaway!
How did I not alvvays love Alvvays?
I have specific memories of listening to Alvvays’ self-titled debut in 2014. It was good. I mean, GOOD. Not life-changing…I didn’t sit around wondering when I would get my hands on the next Alvvays album.
Boy did they make the leap! The Blue Rev album is a marvel of effortless songwriting across genres. Everything works, across all 14 tracks. Need some post-punk? (Alright, EVERYTHING is basically post-punk.) How about “Pomeranian Spinster?”
…or when gauzy pop turns to power pop on “Belinda Says.” It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, despite the darker material. I repeatedly stop and listen when Molly Rankin sings about a girl “moving to the country,” having her baby and starting a new life.
It is beautiful and sad and everything music should be.
The Blue Rev album: So many reasons you vvil love Alvvays too!
The Blue Rev album is that rare collection that presents a little bubblegum but rewards with more and deeper listens. I can’t recommend highly enough buying Blue Rev, nor recommend enough that you capture the chance to see Rankin and company live next Tuesday at SLC’s The Depot.
You vvill alvvays remember this night!