Album Review – Blue Rev by Alvvays (Polyvinyl Record Co) (2022)

ALVVAYS

It has been five (loooonnng) years since the Toronto based quintet that is Alvvays, released an Antiocialites album that had both the shiny .com zines and the micro blogs that really matter, clambering over themselves to lavish critical praise upon them. Rarely do the aforemetioned musical press outlets reach consensus, but somehow the swirling jangle-pop of this band hit all the right notes with all the right everyones.
On their third, Blue Rev album, the sound has changed. Not in a way that sees them radically depart from their aesthetic of yesteryear, but more specifically in a manner of subtle shifts, that serves to augment this release and ensure it becomes there most accomplished yet.
For want of a better word, there is definitively increased ‘muscularity’ and an overall air of invigorating confidence. This is immediately introduced in the opening double salvo of Pharmacist and Easy On Your Own.
Whereas the beauty of their previous releases revolved around lusicious dream-pop being swirled around layers of jangle-pop riffs and the shy, almost introspective vocals of Molly Rankin, these tracks and indeed Many Mirrors, Pomeranian Spinster and Lottery Noises, stride towards, increased tempos, intensities, clarity of vocals and a subdued rock aggression that, whilst never usurping their traditional jangled beauty, certainly work well as it’s new conduits. 
Thankfully those of us who bought this particular ticket due to the promise of their always sublime pretty, will not be disappointed. I is still very much in abundance. Best represented by the sweetness of After The Earthquake, Tom Verlaine, Pressed and Velveteen, Alvvays show they are still very much aware of the beat of their jangly dream-pop heart.
On their third album it was perhaps time to move on. Thankfully it was not too far !
 

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