B*Witched: Awake and Breathe Album Review

B*Witched: Awake and Breathe Album Review

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Score: 60/100

Top 3 Tracks: Jump Down, Leaves, Jesse Hold On

If It Don’t Fit: 7/10

A more hard-hitting song with more attitude and sass from the girls than We Four Girls could have ever dreamed of. Here, it makes sense and is more powerful: it’s about the slow dissolution of a relationship where an SO just does those little things that annoy you and the romance just isn’t what it used to be. It feels much more adult than anything on their debut. Plus, with the guitars, it feels more country-pop, a new sound for the group.

But it makes sense they’d do Western stuff since that is where denim came from.

Jesse Hold On: 7/10

Cheesy? Yes, but they pull it off to make the song at the very least replayable and not completely annoying. I really like the harmonies and backups of the vocals — it’s a song they could easily do acapella and it would probably be better. One thing that’s always bugged me about it is that the girls have said that Jesse could mean a boy or a girl, thus taking all the individuality out of the track if they had just said it’s about a boy. Making it exclusively about a boy doesn’t make the song any less relatable to your mostly female fanbase, especially since that fanbase probably isn’t even old enough to be married.

I Shall Be There: 6/10

Here the album takes a turn into the Irish/Celtic roots of their homeland. Ladysmith Black Mombazo is a nice surprise and addition, and it just gives it that atmosphere that it needs. But I was actually surprised it was a single as, at times, it feels too sentimental and gets bogged down by questionable lyrics like “In my heart, I’ll paint a picture/And I swear it’s where I’ll be.” I don’t know what that means.

Jump Down: 8/10

A really fun pop song that’s just as good as C’est La Vie, but not as clever. It’s basically C’est La Vie 2.0 because those lyrics are about sex, and you know it. “You ran away with my spoon” — that’s her virginity. Anyway, I like the video version better without the fiddle in the bridge. Good fun bop.

Someday: 5/10

This song just doesn’t do it for me. With the generic  title, the doofy little instrumental and the flowery lyrics, “Someday” feels like it belongs on a Kidz Bop album or something. It’s too immature for the girls, especially for a second album.

Leaves: 8/10

A track that doesn’t get bogged down by the metaphor — being in a relationship through all of its trials and seasons, supporting one another etc. The psychedelic instrumental gives it a great, almost haunting atmosphere and I like the vocal manipulation. What I love the most though is the sparseness of the song — there’s very little chorus and lyrics, allowing the music to take center stage.

The Shy One: 7/10

I like the attitude and that it’s a bit more mainstream pop. Lyrically though, it can be a little confusing — she says she’s the shy one in the chorus, but the verses and the attitude certainly suggest otherwise and the lyric of “Maybe I ain’t so shy” turns the song on its head. It surprises you.

And apparently, they all went to the prom with each other.

Red Indian Girl: 5/10

The PC part of me always cringes a little when I hear this track, but I feel like it’s harmless. The girls dip back into the folkloric country side of pop for a song allegedly based on a true story. I like the drum beats and the guitar, but something about it just makes me want to say “Why?” Why this style of song? Why chanting?

It Was Our Day: 7/10

Another track that’s more country inspired with a story-telling technique of lyricism and that beautiful melancholy harmonica. But this one doesn’t feel too out there like the previous track. It fits with them and I do like the group as a more stripped-down acoustic set. It’s a nice song that is probably very personal to them. We get to know a little about them as people.

My Superman: 5/10

I like to think of this 60’s funky track as Freak Out 2.0, but just not as brash. What I like is that they’ve put Lindsay on the lead vocals. She doesn’t exude the same amount of confidence as Edele does, but I like the change-up. Not my favorite though because the lyrics are a little silly to me.

Not as silly as this though

Are You a Ghost?: 5/10

Another song that lyrically feels a little silly and that just makes me shake my head and say “Why?” Why ghosts? Do I take this song literally, cause if I’m supposed to, it feels dumb. So do I take it metaphorically? Ok, then what is it about then? A lover who’s left the relationship, but the dumped one still feels their presence there? I do like the atmosphere of the song with the vocals, harmonies and instrumental, but that’s about it.

In Fields Where We Lay: 7/10

Not much to say, but a beautiful acapella. The girls blend so well and it shows that they are talented singers.

Blame It On the Weatherman: 6/10

Eh, I prefer the original.

Conclusion:

B*Witched’s sophomore album immediately feels more mature than its predecessor. The girls talk more explicitly about relationships and love without resorting to too many cutesy ideas. However, overall the album feels very inconsistent. It bounces around all over the place, dipping its toes into several different genres without really deciding which one it likes. They mix mainstream pop with a slew of different influences, many of which just don’t seem to suit the group all that well. I like the experimentation, but a lot of songs leave the listener wondering “Why?” It seems they tend to favor country-pop, but looking at the cover, you wouldn’t ever know that’s the sound they were going for. You can tell that B*Witched is trying to move away from the strict Celtic-pop that defined their first album, but ultimately haven’t decided what kind of a sound they’d like to have yet, making it so that the album as a whole doesn’t really have a coherent concept and feels unfinished.

I also want you to know these creepy dolls exist.

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