Washington, I Believe You Liar
I was introduced to Australian indie-popster Washington earlier this year and instantly fell in love with her infectious EP, How to Tame Lions, so I was very excited to hear her North American debut and I have to admit, I’m a little bit let down. Here’s the thing though – I couldn’t explain my initial reaction – the album just didn’t flow smoothly. After some quick research it turns out that 5 out of the 12 tracks have been snatched from past EPs, perhaps causing this feeling of discord.
Besides the recycling of tracks – Washington’s cleaver lyrics and infectious radio-ready pop melodies still make for a fun (and very safe) listen, nothing here will really blow you away and any track would fit perfectly on sitcoms like New Girl or 2 Broke Girls. (Don’t get all offended, I happen to love those shows)
Addictive opener, “1997” is beautifully layered with clean and dirty guitar riffs and is an all-round fun rock track; “1997” is followed up with the surfer doo-woop “Navy Blues” and will surely brighten those winter blues. “Sunday Best” was the lead off single for this album and it is easily one of the best of 2011. “Best” has that perfect blend of indie-pop, quirky keyboard stabs and a kick-ass chorus that will stick in your head for days. The latter half of the record doesn’t capture my imagination and it quickly loses steam but highlights “The Hardest Part” and “How To Tame Lions” save the record from total boredom – and the closing title track is an unexpected piano ballad that beautifully closes the album.
I’m sure with more focus Washington will be able to create a killer LP because even with all this debut’s faults what it does show is the breadth of her musical talent and knack for writing hit songs. (Mercury Records)
Rating: 3/5 Stars