All We Are

All We Are

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The Liverpool-based trio All We Are have their fingers in quite a few pies on their self-titled debut album. Taking cues from chillwave, modern R&B, soft rock, and left-field pop, they sound like three different bands at once, but in the end, they sound like they are well on their way to crafting a sound that's theirs alone. They might not be there quite yet, as many songs on the album feel lifted from other band's catalogs, but thanks to the strength of the vocals and the sticky hooks of the songs, it's not a roadblock to enjoying the album. In fact, if someone really liked the HAIM record and was wondering where to turn next for their pop thrills, All We Are would be a pretty nice place to turn. They share a similar sleekly styled approach to their sound, as well as a fondness for the warm harmonies of Fleetwood Mac and that spot where the robotic nature of '80s pop met the beating heart soul of '80s R&B. All We Are is a far more relaxed experience, though, and it's much easier to sink into the plush sound and just float along -- tracks like the swirling "I Wear You" and "Feel Safe" are like fluffy sonic pillows. Even when they boost the tempo or energy level, like on "Honey," everything still sounds firmly ensconced in bubble wrap. The songs that cut the power dramatically, like the heartbroken "Something About You," almost pierce the protective layer, but still have a smoothness that repels real emotional attachment. To that end, the album works best as moody sonic wallpaper that's very pretty and soothing. Maybe next time out, the trio will work more on getting deeper and delivering more emotion, but for now this well-crafted, easy to swallow debut works well enough.

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