Laura Sauvage’s sophomore LP is manic, politicized, and utterly surreal. The Beautiful captures our shared discontent with the current state of the world and delivers it through whimsical synth-rock arrangements.
On “Hello, Hello,” Laura Sauvage’s frank commentary on daily life is set to a moving mercurial beat. The opening line – “We only live once, thank God. We can only fuck up so many times” – is curt, mildly depressing, and all the while incredibly relatable. As Vivianne Roy’s overwhelming vocals flow throughout the track, trails of synths and guitar paint a mesmerizing melody, culminating in an infectious chorus.
On “Monkeys in Space,” the band explores elements of human destructiveness via chameleonic strains of grunge. The whirlwind guitar and fiery drums foment a chaotic instrumental perfect for Roy’s howling vocals. The line “monkeys in space searching for a home to destroy,” is especially poignant, given that, as humans, we are essentially “monkeys in space” currently destroying our own home. Then, once we acknowledge the mess we have made of our world and come face to face with the debris, we ask ourselves (as Roy puts it) – “How did everything get so real?”
In a similar vein of modern-day malaise are tracks “You’re Ugly When You Cry” and “Song for D.J.T.” As if in conversation with one another, these songs represent two angles of a similar dissatisfaction. With lines like “you lose all your rights they fought for without you” and “in a perfect world this wouldn’t be as it is,” “You’re Ugly When You Cry” depicts the response one may have in the wake of a series of unfortunate political events. In response, “Song for D.J.T.,” abandons reflection and confronts the political problem head-on by directly criticizing Trump and his regime. As a result, the two tracks (on opposite ends of the album) work hand in hand. What’s more, the playful synth-meets-garage rock instrumentals on both tracks allow for Laura Sauvage to reflect on political issues while maintaining the album’s overall sanguine sound and perseverant attitude.
Lastly, with “Alien (Anything Like It, Have You?)” Laura Sauvage’s dynamic overlaying of synths, guitar, and drums create a cosmic soundscape fit for an intergalactic nightclub. Roy’s vocals effortlessly shine through the track and beguile us with accounts of extraterrestrial sightings. At first, “Alien (Anything Like It, Have You?)” may seem somewhat discordant with the rest of The Beautiful but when living in a world as riddled with adversity as ours, fascination with life forms elsewhere in the universe starts to make a lot more sense.
Top Tracks: “Alien (Anything Like It, Have You?)”; “Hello, Hello”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)