Farao - Pure-O - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Farao - Pure-O

by Justin Pearson Rating:6 Release Date:2018-10-19
Farao - Pure-O
Farao - Pure-O

Inspired by Soviet-era disco and 90's R&B, multi-instrumentalist Kari Jahnsen (aka Farao) has returned with sophomore album Pure-O. Largely concerned with both the beauty and destructiveness inherent within sex and relationships, its songs seem composed to reflect the complicated and unhinged nature of such experiences.

Like her debut Till It's All Forgotten, the album has a progressive, experimental vibe. But unlike the stronger melodies of the former, Pure-O's synth-pop tends to simply color these tracks, rather than anchor them, leaving much of the record feeling ephemeral. However, when they work, they work well.

Opener 'Marry Me' lays out the foundation for the entire album with the lyric "The heart is the organ of desire." The song is about the all-encompassing passion that comes along with love. Jahnsen's breathy vocals are perfect for the middle section of the song that opens and envelops the listener: "Feel me, touch me, look at me, hold me, kiss me, marry me."

'Get Along' has a darker, more lustful vibe as it places direct honesty and desire above anything contrived. The line "We don't have to pretend to get along" is delivered perfectly in this context.

At times some tracks feel like they could have been more structured. 'Luster of the Eyes' begins with a swirling synth line that dances through much of the song, but the underlying beat never really hooks, making it feel floaty instead of something meatier. 'Gabriel' sounds hurried along, rather than forward moving as it wants to appear. 'Triumph Over Me' and 'Cluster of Delights' never really go anywhere melodically, reflecting a flatness rather than a roundness that the album's lyrical content otherwise suggests.

With her solid debut and current effort, Jahnsen is obviously an artist who isn't afraid of feeling her way around and taking different paths musically. If anything, Pure-O is a certain footprint among a field of like-minded experimentalists. It's an interesting and worthwhile entry into a catalog that's sure to grow through the years.

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