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Album review: Very little growth in Braids’ ‘Flourish//Perish’


The sophomore slump didn’t hit Canadian art rock band Braids this year.

“Flourish // Perish,” the band’s second album, released Tuesday. The electronic-focused album comes two years after the band’s debut album “Native Speaker.”

Each song on “Flourish // Perish” has a good blend of electronic instruments and computer-generated sounds that don’t sound jarring when mixed together.

The album is mellow and mild when compared to other music in the electronic genre. I found myself drifting off into a dreamlike state after hearing lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s subtle vocals paired with the moderate tones from the music.

“Victoria,” the album’s opening song, is an example of this. At the beginning of the song, the music starts at a slow pace, the vocals sung delicately. As the song picks up tempo, Standell-Preston’svocals are punched up with more reverb, making the song feel more surreal.

However, I felt in some songs her voice was drowned in the reverb, which made it hard to understand what she was singing.

“December,” the third track on the album, starts with vocals covered in reverb along with bass, drums and keyboard. It was hard for me to pay attention to the lyrics because, unlike the rest of the album, the vocals were not gradually led into the song.

I felt as if “Flourish // Perish” is a continuation from where “Native Speaker” left off in 2011, the albums being no different music-wise. Although we are given new music with a different focus style-wise, the music itself is not versatile enough to differentiate one album from the other.

While Braids does not provide anything new musically, I found this album enjoyable to relax and unwind to.

Grade: B-

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