Saturday, August 26, 2017

EP Review: Alice Glass - Alice Glass (2017)

When ex-Crystal Castles vocalist Alice Glass was asked what she finds most surprising about the release of her self-titled debut solo EP, she replied … “that you can hear my voice clearly.” She says this like she believes it's a good thing.

In truth, it's also a bit of a porky. Or at least a stretch. Sure, we get to hear her voice more clearly than we did when her mostly chopped up vocals were key to three terrific Crystal Castles albums, but what she really means is that on this EP we get to hear her very heavily autotuned voice more clearly. Which might be a different thing altogether.

Because that voice is weak. Thin. And there's clearly a good reason Ethan Kath opted to bury Alice's vocal deep in the mix on much of that Crystal Castles work. On those occasions he wasn't slicing it up into tiny little strips and making an instrument out of it, that is. That worked. This doesn't.

So the much anticipated (for some) Alice Glass return, a full two years after her first solo release, the one-off single, 'Stillbirth', is something of a minor let down. Despite production assistance from Jupiter Keyes (ex-HEALTH), who adds the electro-pop flourishes Glass fans will be most familiar with.

But he's not Kath, this feels a little bit like cheap imitation, and there's something missing. It’s just as likely a lack of tunes, and this six-track EP is all a bit ordinary. Even that feels like high praise. The highlight is the pre-release "single", 'Without Love', which opens proceedings. From there, it just becomes a slippery slope.

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