Wet: Debut Album Review
We're at a point in music history where divisions between genre categories have become increasingly blurred. Where there were decidedly pop stars like Britney Spears in the late 90s or rigidly rap artists like Notorious B.I.G., more experimental artists have emerged -- they grapple between different genres like Kanye West, The Weeknd, or recently, Wet. The trio of Brooklynites, originally from Massachusetts, graduated from their SoundCloud days and released their full debut album, Don't You with Columbia Records in late January. Although produced under a major label, Wet did not diverge too far from their self-titled EP sound, keeping their alternative r&b-synth-pop-hard-to-categorize-style still intact. However, Don't You does seem more fleshed out with additional production and instrumentals.
"Compared to the EP, there are moments where the album is packed and more dynamic while I think the previous work was easier to digest," said Kelly Zutrau, the singer/songwriter of the group, in an interview with Dummy magazine.
To be frank, Don't You is a breakup album dedicated to the heartache, confusion, and regret following the end of a relationship. For some, the 11-song sentimental saga can be hard to stomach all at once, but for those who can currently relate to heartbreak, it might just be what you need to to lock yourself in your room and curl up in a ball with.
That's not to say the album is without its hopeful moments. "You're the Best" begins with the afflicted, All I know is/When you hold me/I still feel lonely but then leads to an optimistic chorus with an upbeat tempo of Baby you're the best/We'll figure out the rest/and maybe it's a test.
They're certainly not the only current artists who are incorporating various genres into their music, which the band is well aware of.
"Our music plays into the more general trend of artists incorporating certain elements of R&B and pop into their sound and creating something really unique," said Zutrau to Interview magazine. So what makes Don't You stand out from the rest?
Listeners, such as myself, might enjoy Zutrau's breathy notes and dreamy melodies and the minimalist lyrics punctuated by rhythmic synth pads and drum beats produced by the band's instrumentalists, Joe Valle and Marty Sulkow.
Not everyone agrees, like Pitchfork's music reviewer Katharine St. Asaph, "As it stands, Wet may as well be directing readers toward better versions of them. And there have never been more to choose from."
While Asaph is right in pointing out that there are many other similar bands like Wet, such as the xx, Banks, and Haim, all of whom I also personally enjoy, there's no reason not to appreciate their music all the same.
Photo by Alexander Wagner