Dear Rouge – PHASES [album review]

Commentary, Music

Dear Rouge’s sophomore effort is a stylish collection of new wave-tinged electro-rock.

The first third of the album is a slow burn, beginning with the shimmery “Wicked Thing” and “Live Through the Night,” which boasts a slinky, James Bond-ish bassline. After “Stolen Days,” a nostalgic track calling out to an uncertain future, the band lets loose on the frenzied “Boys and Blondes.”

The strongest songs arrive on the last two thirds of the album. “Motion” is a swaggering eighties throwback, while “Chains” and “Little by Little” are infectiously danceable anthems of persistence; on the latter track, lyrical details like “Working hard to fix that ripped coat so I can wear it out tonight” add poignancy to the hopeful chorus.

“Flashes” glitters like a disco ball with a seductive chorus of “We don’t need a superficial love / We’re already beautiful enough.” And my personal favourite, “Modern Shakedown,” is brash exploration of head games and power relations that sounds like something Rough Trade would have put out in the eighties.

The album comes full circle with closing track “The Clearing,” an atmospheric track that’s the perfect showcase for co-founder Danielle McTaggart’s chilly synths and powerful vocals.

Title: PHASES

Artist: Dear Rouge

Year: 2018

Tracklist:

  1. Wicked Thing
  2. Live Through the Night
  3. Stolen Days
  4. Boys and Blondes
  5. Motion
  6. Chains
  7. Little By Little
  8. Flashes
  9. Modern Shakedown
  10. The Clearing

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