Do you miss the 80’s? Do you tire of the endless expanse of new wave music that already exists? Perhaps you just yearn for an album to fall asleep to? If you answered any of these questions in the affirmative, then The Mary Onettes’ latest album is probably perfect for you. Hit the Waves is the Swedish band’s third full-length album and I’ll be honest: it wasn’t for me.
The album itself is very… pretty. It’s arranged well and the harmonies are impeccable. The Mary Onettes have managed to perfectly capture that sound that was so popular in the 80s. One song that I truly enjoyed was “Evil Coast,” which manages to be dreamy and melancholy at the same time. The lyrics speak to loss and despair, and it feels true; it’s evident in front man Philip Ekström’s plaintive crooning. Then comes the next track, “Hit the Waves,” and despite the beautiful string arrangement, it’s more of the same. More melancholy. More compositions reminiscent of that golden age of 80s new wave.
That’s the biggest problem with Hit the Waves. The songs, though pretty and well put-together, are just more of the same. Honestly, after the fourth track or so, they all start to sound the same. No one song really stands out.
It seems like the album should be amazing. Like with their previous albums, The Mary Onettes has made a true and earnest attempt at a new wave revival. But I just can’t get beyond the feeling like I’ve heard all of this before. The thing about the revival of genre is that there should be something new that draws us back and invites us to rediscover what we liked about it in the first place. I just don’t feel that with Hit the Waves.