Jane Remover
released 12 nov 2021
written 28 apr 2024

frailty completely enamors me. its energy is preeminent, and it has an uncanny ability to translate hyper-realistic, juvenile emotion into the glitching brushstrokes of its instrumental palettes. it presses your body deep into your bed, keeps you tied down in the same way its build is so wrapped up in one very specific but very transient life.

there is too much to pick through. there's just so much here that cannot be summed up in words, from an instrumental snippet of the final distinct melody present in let's go home being hinted at halfway through search party, to how well the entire project is engendered to over-saturated and over-legislated teenage experiences. there's unmistakable charm in how Jane layers her brand of vibrant production with slightly deadpan, punk-ish lines of news coverage, chasing time, and the unmistakable boiling point that she was seemingly at during this album's creation.

even in taking a more surface-level dive, paying attention simply to the feel of how the record progresses, builds, redoes, and climbs, it is otherworldly. there's an unbridled, comically obtuse degree of idea sequencing, that which all fall over themselves for space to move, that cannot help but try to steal your attention away from you—and even then it still makes the time for a somber, reflectively lo-fi introduction and opener in goldfish.

whether it is in the emotive well of movies for guys, the confounding electronic mallets of kodak moment, or the thrilling choruses of your clothes, everything offered seems to constantly chameleon-shift depending on the listening perception at the time. you pick out different instrumental flourishes, you can map more cleanly your own insights through her eyes better, you're taken aback and smile more at how stunningly catchy a certain track is, you're more emotionally pulled down by the squirming meditations once you pick it apart.

and the influence it recontextualizes of 2000's video game soundtracks and the lineage that has carried on that style, while nothing revolutionary in a vacuum, offers something genuinely adept in their implementations. whether it be in smaller elements smothered by already busy mixes, the sweet nods during (or in order to create) lulls—especially seen on the wii menu style outro of kodak moment—or entire reconstructed soundscapes like the start of how to lie, they're very deliberate, echoing the bird's-eye atmosphere of the lp, of memories all pointed to tangible memories in time. and i'd be remiss not to mention the final line on the final track let's go home as being yet another affirmation of SOPHIE's widespread, monumentally important influence.

the melancholy Jane pines about and tumbles over all throughout are emblematic of those memories, being slightly uncomfortable to reach back at them, but realizing something terribly profound in the process regardless; frailty's progression is indebted to something it cannot catch, or perhaps doesn't want to catch. the album doesn't want to pin it down completely; the idea of being near that fond but inescapably muddied memory, or maybe more simply emotional trauma, is more prescient than finally reaching the destination of re-connecting, re-destruction.

so while the disorienting breakdowns might feel like an ear fatigue, after a dozen ideas have already crammed themselves together, shoulder-to-shoulder, in a single track, that artisanship fills the shoes perfectly for frailty's ethos, an abundantly free and effortlessly virtuosic experience. its shifty ability to morph, despite how intensely personal the whole experience surely was in its creation, is a testament to how brilliantly convincing of an adventure the album is. whether it exhibits itself as a set of off-the-wall and erratic sound experiments, or as intensely charming but paralyzing ballads, it is altogether an emotionally vulnerable, evidently imaginative masterpiece.

perfect 5 / 5
created by hand, by nat!

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