Savages’ “Adore Life”: Music review

After six CocoRosie albums, this is exactly what I needed. Savages. It’s a savage album. Played savagely. With savagery. “Adore Life” shows us Savages on top of their game in their second album, released in January, ripping violently through their distorted pent-up battery, a tight and telepathic unit in lockstep. This album captures some of the controlled chaotic intensity of their live shows, one of which is coming up in late March in Brooklyn, and it will be a violent and beautiful affair. Savages really don’t care what you think, but they think carefully and they care deeply and they need to express it, and it’s loud and clear through this album.
This album is largely concerned with love, and they get right down to the tortured business of drowning in self-doubt, ecstasy, insecurity, and intoxication, and asking what on earth in going on in the human heart and mind.

“I saw the answer / it was a girl! … Ain’t you glad it’s you?” asks the barreling opener, “The answer.”
“Love is a disease,” we hear in “Sad Person,” and it’s the “strongest addiction I know / What happens in your brain / Is the same as a rush of cocaine.”

“The more you have, the more you crave.
Oh how I never managed
Such level of intensity yeah”

This album is consumed with the need to understand the place of love in life, and to understand the “guilt for what I take” when you are “so starved.” “I understand the urgency of life” sings Jehnny Beth in the title track “Adore Life”, insisting “I adore life” while asking “Is it human to adore life?”

In “When in love” Jehnny Beth is singing the dichotomy, the hellish contradiction: “Is it a demon / Or an angel / Holding us / When in love.”

“Fear of drowning
Die of longing
Head is swirling”

Oh boy, does she have it bad.

“Surrender / Walk on water / Come and be my muse” she sings in “Surrender.”

The album barely takes a respite, slowing briefly at times in “I Adore Life,” but never really evening out until the beautiful finale of “Mechanics” where Jehnny sings “My love will stand the test of time.”

“I want to learn
The touch of love
How you could burn
With just one touch.”

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