Wet Still Run

Wet Still Run
6
On Still Run, Wet seems to understand: it's evolve or die. The Brooklyn-based duo look to mature from their old sound, a mix of synth-pop and "alt-R&B" that has oversaturated the market. Still Run shows signs of growth in some areas, but in others, leaves much left to be desired.
 
Singer-songwriter Kelly Zutrau takes creative control on this album, while multi-instrumentalist Joe Valle plays a supporting role. Zutrau's voice, with its reedy timbre, feels restricted on tracks like "Out of Tune" or "11 Hours." The tracks are well-produced, but lack the soul to make a deep enough impact.
 
Wet employ the sound of their first album, Don't You, with cascading piano melodies, dreamy guitar riffs and easy percussion. The duo also introduce a variety of new sounds: mournful country-folk on the title track, upbeat indie pop on "You're Not Wrong" and the sombre but hopeful ballad "Love Is Not Enough." But they're coupled with forgettable lyrics that rarely venture outside Wet's comfort zone: melancholic tales of love and human intimacy.
 
There is promise in Still Run's most effective tracks. "Softens" is a rich contemporary ballad, and Zutrau widens her vocal range. It swells to a poignant chorus chant: "Where beauty softens grief." "This Woman Loves You" is a delicate marching anthem that reads like a letter of frustration to America from Zutrau — for loving her country, "like a fool." It's an apt sentiment in our current political climate.
 
It's commendable that Wet have chosen to diversify their work. Hopefully, Still Run represents a transition period between Don't You and something special. (Columbia)