mon 13/07/2020

Album: Dream Wife - So When You Gonna… | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Dream Wife - So When You Gonna…

Album: Dream Wife - So When You Gonna…

Arts punks’ sophomore effort dashes expectations

Dream Wife: Sparky barbarians no more

Dream Wife started life as an art school project, and while their self-titled debut album was an exhilarating ride that resurrected the ghosts of The Slits, X-Ray Spex and a host of lively riot grrrls, So When You Gonna… is a bit of a disappointment. In fact, with the exception of recent single “Sports!” and the album’s title track, it’s a disc that sees them morph from sparky barbarians into boring conformists.

It's the punk-funk opener “Sports!”, with it’s “Fuck sorry / Fuck please” introduction, which sets expectations high with its lively groove, Rakel Mjöll’s squealing vocals and its more than assertive attitude. But it turns out to be a false dawn, and soon things fade into the bland guitar pop of “Hasta La Vista”, the dull “U Do U” and the flaccid “Temporary”, among other unimpressive efforts. “Remember when you loved me?” croons Mjöll on “Old Flame”. We do – but that was when the band had some fire about them and, on the evidence of this album, that has all but gone out. Indeed, while their first album was the sonic equivalent of being unexpectedly roughed up by a girl gang, “Hold On Me” paints Dream Wife as slightly pathetic victims with lyrics like “Just like Kylie said, I can't get you out of my head”. Previously, it was all threats of “I’m gonna fuck you up / Gonna cut you up”. And that’s before they round things off with the spineless piano ballad “After the Rain”.

Of course, many bands fail to meet expectations with their second album, and history isn’t short of exciting third albums that more than make up for such missteps. It just has to be hoped that Dream Wife regain their footing and their fire because So When You Gonna… delivers nothing of the promise that the band suggested with their debut release.

'So When You Gonna…' delivers nothing of the promise that the band suggested with their debut release

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Average: 2 (1 vote)

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It’s fascinating to me that you have just used your power and platform in this way. That an album created by an exclusively non-male group of people as an anthem for women has been reviewed by you. That you summarise songs about abortion rights and miscarriage (that effect a huge amount of the population and need to be communicated) as ‘flaccid’ and ‘spineless’. That a powerful band who stand tall with might have lost their footing, and that by setting light to harmful patriarchal traditions they have lost their fire. Please listen to the lyrics, research their topics or discuss them with someone who these songs have been written and performed for. Perhaps in future it would be good to make space for a woman who the album would resonate more with the chance to review it.

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