Following the footsteps of a rag doll dance
Okay, so it’s not the absolute best album of the decade. Not quite. But show me an album with more authenticity, more urgency. Show me an album that channels the true spirit of punk more than Adore Life. I’ll wait.
On Adore Life, Savages present a brilliant collection of songs. Jehnny Beth channels Siouxsie like nobody else, while still retaining her own identity. But the brilliant thing for me is, unlike their latter-day contemporaries, they are not thrashing around for the sake of it. There is a subtlety and creativity here that is sadly lacking amongst so many of the other punk wannabes who inexplicably seem to be dominating most awards these days..
Adore Life is a collection of ten songs, amazing hooks with a knowing pop sensibility fused with that punk attitude that draw you right in. The Banshees comparisons that have been lobbed at Savages since their first album undoubtedly remain, but they are so much more than mere copycats.
Jehnny Beth’s voice is obviously one of Savages’s key differentiators. Boy, can she sing. Witness the way her voice absolutely soars on Adore, listen to the emotion when she asks “do you adore life”. It will make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle. And when she sings “I’m not gonna hurt you/Coz I’m flirting with you” on Sad Person you better believe her. Because Savages are for real. No plastic postcard punks here.
If I have one criticism of this album it is that it does tail off slightly on side two. The giddy heights attained on side one aren’t maintained. If they had been this would have been an absolute contender. As it is, it’s a worthy admission to our top albums of the decade.