Clocking in at a bit over thirty-two minutes, Forever Turned Around features sleepy melodies and wistful lyricism that are complimented well by intermittent guitar work and a horn section that all seem to know their place in the mix, none of which attempting to outshine each other. Vocalist Julien Ehrlich’s gentle falsetto usually leads the way throughout the album, and the supportive horn section is surely a pleasant surprise for those who tend to gravitate more around standard Indie Rock acts.
There are a variety of things that Whitney can be commended for on Forever Turned Around. For one, the band’s ability to just nail a certain “melancholic but not quite depressive” vibe on the entirety of this album is impressive. There truly are not any tracks that seem to run astray and stick too much out, as if they don’t belong or agree with the general sound the record goes for. The album’s lone instrumental, Rhododendron, for example, is a welcomed breath of fresh air rather than an out of place interlude. All in all, the imagery and warmth Forever Turned Around delivers is without a doubt its most memorable aspect.
On the other hand, though, perhaps the biggest issue with Forever Turned Around is also one of its strengths: how cohesive the album is, be it in sound or lyricism. There were multiple points in the album where, if not paying much attention, one would barely notice a change in tracks given their similarity. The lyricism easily achieves the imagery and themes it sets out to, although lines of “drifting away” in relationships and other tropes become a bit too heavily relied on, and this truly damages each track’s ability to stand apart one from one another. In a more critical sense, the way each track blends into the next makes it hard for the album to not be dismissed as a bit monotonous and the songs on their own forgettable.
With all this in mind, it’s hard to imagine that Whitney has failed their hardcore fans on this sophomore release. Forever Turned Around is a solid stepping stone in Whitney’s discography that delivers a consistent and reliable sound, while still giving ample room to grow and flourish. At the end of the day, Forever Turned Around just cements the idea that Whitney’s steadiness in their music can be a positive or negative aspect, depending on who you ask.
Rad Tracks: Used To Be Lonely, Rhododendron
Not So Rad Tracks: My Life Alone, Day & Night
Forever Turned Around is streaming everywhere now.