Published Jan 20, 2016Savages began as something of an enigma. Staunch in their views and meticulous about their vision, they quickly positioned themselves as a serious band with a lot to say. During the recording of Adore Life, the band's frontwoman, Jehnny Beth, stated that this album would be the solution to the problems documented on their debut LP, Silence Yourself. While Adore Life doesn't quite provide those answers, the record's greatness lies in its intense, ambitious exploration.
Compared to its forebear, the warmer, looser sound of Adore Life is a the work of a band that's more relaxed, more comfortable in their skin. Still, it would be foolish to misconstrue this temperance for softness. Tracks like "Adore" and "Mechanics" are epic meditations that bubble and swell with quiet ferocity, showing resolute maturity and restraint, even in anger. They function as carefully placed periods of reflection for the listener amidst the album's more kinetic cuts, like blistering album opener, "The Answer" and the dance-y, beat-driven "Evil" and "Surrender." Mostly, the album's exploration of love is meaningful, but vague tracks like "T.I.W.Y.G." and "Slowing Down The World" sometimes fail to push the investigation as far as they should.
Adore Life is a definite progression for Savages that manages to maintain the feral bark that made Silence Yourself so special. With this album, they've proven that they're a band with substance, staying power and the ability to question everything — and that's worth a lot. (Matador)