Girlpool: Forgiveness Album Review | Fork

Forgiveness exists at an excruciating inflection point, where salvation and torture could easily be mistaken for romance. Across 12 mercurial pop songs, bandmates Avery Tucker and Harmony Tividad write, as they always have, about the ongoing and ever brutal process of losing innocence. This time around, Girlpool’s songs – some of the most sonically adventurous they’ve ever made – are colored by reckless parties, sketchy sex and the depressing realization that you can be complicit in your own suffering without always have the tools to relieve you. of this one. Brilliant and relentlessly dark, it’s Tucker and Tividad’s finest exploration of the pressures and politics of young adulthood – a record that uses the sound and feeling of pop music to heighten the emotions within.

Forgiveness runs the gamut from icy hyperpop to horny industrial electronics and serene country ballad, but the duo’s new stylistic breadth isn’t the focus. From the opening lines – “Do you even want me if I even have to ask? / Break it easy with your fingers up my ass” – it’s clear that Tucker and Tividad went above and beyond in impressionistic writing. , though sometimes vague, of songwriting. of 2019 What chaos is imaginary. If the lyrics on this album often sounded like transmissions of unsettling, unassociated dreams, this record is more like the cold, sterile panic of waking up from a nightmare. These songs are bolder and grittier, less interested in flowery wording or oblique metaphor; they express feelings of alienation and self-loathing with disconcerting clarity.

Tividad frequently uses metaphors of death or the divine to express a sense of chaotic and helpless infatuation. Sometimes, like on “Junkie,” where she coos like Hannah Diamond over a barely-there dembow beat, the analogy is simple: a lyric like, “I’m a sin for the saint you made me/Leave your body to me destroy and change me” is clearly in a line of songs that use worship as a metaphor for sex. But on the country-tinged “Faultline,” things seem more complicated: “My body is just a landscape for your sin,” she sings, only to admit, moments later, that her desires also went unchecked: “I wanted it all so much he’s growing / Till I can’t handle this appetite anymore. there are no heroes or villains in these songs, just lost souls, waiting for the earth to swallow them up.

If Tividad’s songs portray sex as something dissociative and indulgent, Tucker’s portrays the act as a site of embodiment and self-determination, if not always in a particularly wholesome way. On “Violet,” the romantic attachment is fleeting yet visceral — “When you held me like a doll, that’s when I felt so strong / But without lust, I lose myself,” he sings. -he – while on the industrial rattling “Country Star”, a sex fantasy about a cowboy is more about self-actualization than sex itself. The writing has become more distinct and abject, but Tividad and Tucker are still writing the kind of stories they’ve always specialized in — finding faith in others and running short.

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