Purity Ring gets introspective on 'Another Eternity'

Randall Roberts
Contact ReporterLos Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Purity Ring delves into emotional drama designed for the 'Hunger Games' crowd on 'Another Eternity'

As light and wobbly as a feather caught in a soft breeze, the Canadian electronic pop duo Purity Ring takes a grab at the (less pure) brass ring on its second album, "Another Eternity." An unapologetic run toward the commercial pop charts, the team best known for its 2012 breakout hit "Fineshrine" moves through 10 introspective songs about love, heartbreak and various forms of emotional drama designed to resonate with the "Hunger Games"-obsessed set.

Purity Ring's first album, "Shrines," channeled the sticky melodies of vocalist-lyricist Megan James through beats somehow both gritty and syrupy to make the whole sound a little dangerous and a few years ahead of its time. "Another Eternity" is firmly placed in the here and now. Echoes of Lorde's work can be heard in producer Corin Roddick's minimalism, one that strips away all but noisy bass wobble, humming low-end percussion, sibilant high-hats and James' voice (even if it could be argued that Lorde owes a debt to "Shrines").

It can be a beguiling sound, especially on "Flood on the Floor," a mysterious song about a river, terror and a woman who "knitted lace out of lashes, battered with ashes." Featuring a dynamic beat that draws on future-rap, trap and crunk, the track crawls along menacingly while the AutoTuned voice of James repeatedly chants, "Don't forget."

But these new songs are so similar in texture and intention to one another that they start to feel redundant, as though the team tackled the question of hit-making from 10 angles and came up short. Heard individually, the tracks can pop; taken as a whole, not so much.


Purity Ring

"Another Eternity"

4 AD Records

2.5 stars

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