Album Review: The Jezabels – Synthia

By Levi Shears, Contributor

[Dine Alone; 2016]

Rating: 3.5/5

Key Tracks: “Stand and Deliver,” “Come Alive,” “Pleasure Drive”

Fifty years ago, the role of women in rock music was not that of being present on stage, behind a mic, singing, or even yelling to their hearts desire. Thankfully, our culture as a whole has traversed past these old notions, and we have since been blessed with artists like Hop Along, Courtney Barnett, and Sleater-Kinney. The Jezabels’s third LP Synthia sets out to establish the group as one with a strong female lead that unapologetically shares her feelings on just how complicated love can be.

The opening track “Stand And Deliver” gives a representation of the whole work; the album grows, stands up, and speaks for itself. The lyrics on this track almost instantly state a theme that is present in every other song after it. Some sort of love–whether for a lover, or a mother–is what the album goes on about for the remaining songs. Surprisingly, this topic of love does not become too overdone in the process. This album is great at presenting an idea, surrounding it with a sound that matches its intensity, then letting it say what it wants.

“Come Alive” arrives just over halfway through, and is the kind of song that brings an album together. It offers strength and drive, with immense forward momentum serving as a sort of backbone. This song presents a clear message: Love is taken advantage of, but we will always come back to it, thinking this time it might be right and true. If this album as a whole asks “Why all the turmoil over love?” this is the song that answers it. This track presents angst over the idea of love that is also incredibly desirable, which seems to be a half-decent representation of how love works altogether.

As a whole, the album works well. Some individual tracks fall short and can easily be glanced over, but it’s nice to listen to album that is trying to say something. The role of women in rock music has changed drastically; The Jezebels’s Hayley Mary sets out to completely flip the script, and show that women too can make music filled with hate, love, and all the feelings that fall on the wee spectrum between the two.

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