GRMLN

Soon Away

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Soon Away Review

by Heather Phares

Soon Away shows that Yoodoo Park's '90s-worshipping sound has legs and a big, often breaking, heart. The musical makeover he undertook on Empire feels more genuine on several levels: on songs like "Jaded," the punk-pop sound of GRMLN's debut feels more fiery and less like a pose. Park wrings more emotions out of his chugging riffs and stinging solos, whether it's "Avoider"'s frustration or the tenderness of "Faux," one of the few times on the album where he's abandoned instead of the abandoner. As the title suggests, Soon Away revolves around those moments when the realization dawns that it's time to move on. Park's lyrics are filled with physical manifestations of emotional trauma; things are falling, breaking, caving in, and, of course, moving. While GRMLN still recalls Cloud Nothings, Park balances his angst with a more philosophical outlook, and there's a sense of joy -- or at least relief -- in songs like "Numb" and "Yamero," where he sings "this pressure is my friend." "Of Nothing," where Park vents his frustrations about a relationship in the verses and demands to know that the cause of these frustrations is OK in the choruses, is even more complex. It's no coincidence that the album's title track and finale, which finds Park finally ready to make a change, is Soon Away's finest moment. Barely in his twenties when he recorded the album, Soon Away reflects the musical and emotional progress he's made since GRMLN's early days. These songs may be about ambivalence, but Park grows more confident with each release.

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