Album Review: Whitney – Forever Turned Around

This album is lovely. From the first note, Whitney’s sophomore release Forever Turned Around smothers you with a warm blanket, brings you a cup of tea and asks how your day was. It feels like it cares more about you than your boyfriend. It isn’t life-changing, revolutionary or even particularly ground-breaking, it is just lovely.

Those who have enjoyed recent singles are in for a treat as the record continues on the same theme of slick, easy-to-listen-to, smoother-than-a-waxed-otter indie. Admittedly, the short run-time means early listens can feel like it is over before it has really begun (we all know that feeling…) but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one, it means that, unlike your boyfriend, the record is immediately accessible (why won’t he just open up?!) Secondly, this seems to be a deliberate policy by Whitney as their first LP also clocks in at a mere 30 mins and 2 seconds – like The Light Upon The Lake, this is a collection of punchy tunes without a singer filler track. Quality over quantity.

As well as the short running time, Forever Turned Around shares other characteristics with the band’s debut album; 10 tracks, a mid-album instrumental number and the unique falsetto vocals of lead singer Julien Ehrlich. Sure, there might be an argument that the outfit hasn’t really progressed since 2016, but a more tuned-in listen will reveal the delicate complexities and layers in this record. Forever Turned Around tries to tackle bigger issues and Ehrlich revealed in April 2019 that the record, lyrically at least, will deal with ‘fear, confusion and substance abuse’. It’s true that the loose, free-flowing sound belies a tightly packed and more lyrically intricate collection than its predecessor – there’s seems more to get your teeth into here and, taken individually from their debut, this record is pretty much immaculate.

The simple truth is that no matter how bleak the subject matter, this is a beautiful album. It is a record suited to literally any situation; Saturday afternoon chill-out? Let’s have a listen to the new Whitney album. Having the in-laws over for dinner? Get the new Whitney record on. Car journey? Whitney. Out for a run? Whitney. Your boyfriend finally opens up to you and drunkenly spills the lurid details of an affair he’s been having with your sister and now you need to have a ‘Big Chat’?

Wow. Heavy. Ok, well, maybe don’t worry so much about the soundtrack.

Just kidding, stick the new Whitney LP on. Everything’s going to be alright.

James Beck

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