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Shrines

4.6 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 24, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Shrines is the debut album by Purity Ring, a Halifax/Montreal-based duo comprised of Corin Roddick and Megan James. Purity Ring make lullabies for the club, drawing equally from airy 90's R&B, lush dream pop, and the powerful, bone-rattling immediacy of modern hip hop. Megan's remarkable voice is at once ecstatic and ethereal, soaring joyfully through Corin's carefully chopped beats, trembling synths, and skewed vocal samples.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad Records
  • ASIN: B0082CIVVI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,336 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
Not sure why my first review never got published...anyway, moving on...

If this album was released a few decades back, it would have been labeled "trip hop" and asked to open for Sneaker Pimps, Portishead, or Tricky. Although they would still make a great touring mate or featured vocal guest for those acts, so much has happened in music since then for Purity Ring to get inspired by, and yet their music harkens back to the creepy side of female new wave as well.

However, this is not an album designed to show range; Rather it's one built on a singular vision. It's not like Team Sleep either, where it's consistency is drawn from circling (or impersonating) a vague sub-genre. By comparison, Purity Ring make Team Sleep look like they are fishing for distinction. This is pure modern synth pop, but not the kind that is chasing behind a bandwagon.

The beats are a consistent blend of skittering trap music snares, wafting "witch house" atmospheres, and percussive bell tones that are distinct to this band (thanks to a custom MIDI sound/light controller they designed). Despite these comparisons, in no way do they bow to these trends, but at most maybe tip their hat to them.

The vocals have a ghost-like quality sort of like Grimes in that there is something cute (Pretty Girls Make Graves?) and angelic about them, but at the same time creepy and ghost-like (Portishead). This ghostly effect is really enhanced by the reoccurring anatomy theme in the lyrics. It's not just anatomy in a passive sense either, but each song seems to choose one body part (ribs, stomach, etc) and describe it in a manner as if it had a life of it's own and was advancing on the listener/antagonist or otherwise behaving unnaturally.
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2 Comments 63 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very airy, soothing, and sometimes slightly disturbing synth pop... It's extremely refreshing and new-feeling music. Unique lyrics backed by a hip-hop beat. Purity Ring was magic at first listen. Given their unique, future-pop style, I think it safe to say that they're not for everyone. But I beg you - give a few of their songs a listen, you may be very pleased that you chose to. My suggestions: Ungirthed, Crawlersout, Lofticries.
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By Niall on September 6, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I am about as qualified to critique electronic music--or whatever this is called--as I am to perform dentistry. My favorite genre is Americana and my idea of electronic music is Goldfrapp. I discovered this band through Facebook and was immediately captivated by the accessibility of their music. It seems to conjure up--and update--the best of the Erasure/DepecheMode/etc synthesizer bands into something new. All of the older, individually-released songs here are great and the new stuff is certainly up to par. Listening from start to finish can produce a sense of tedium, but all of these songs sound great on their own. As good as this release is, I was blown away by their live performance, which prompted me to write this review.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No sound like it. Deep and full. Hollow and melodic. Runs the full gambit of ambient music. Buy it. Please.
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Format: MP3 Music
I just wanted to express my enthusiasm for this record. I was instantly hooked and cannot stop listening to it. Go for it.
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By X on September 6, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This duo is absolutely fantastic. The lyrics are great and the beats that accompany them are just amazing. Turn up the bass!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Ever since the debut song "Ungirthed" came out I knew the full length would be good, but I had no idea how diverse and great this album is. The instrumentals from Corin Roddick, a member of the band Born Gold, pairs nicely, almost juxaposed to Megan James' vocals, which are as macabre as they are comforting.

I'll keep it simple, If you like the sounds of Crystal Castles, Flying Lotus, Grimes, The Weeknd, Joy Division, The Cure, James Blake, Fever Ray (the list can go on, but you probably get the idea) then buy this album immediately. while you are at it check out 4AD records, as they have one of, if not THE best new artsist line-ups.

"Shrines" or Grime's "Visions" is the best album of 2012.
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Format: Audio CD
Dear Music Appreciators,

What strange brew is this? It fills me with a mixture of metaphors, and if you've ever plugged and unplugged your ears while listening to something (anything) then you've already got a feel for the kind of pulsing hypnosis present on nearly every track of this debut album by Canadian future pop duo Purity Ring.

And with this whole affair sounding something like "teenage witch and her ancient demon lover's book of spells and dreams," is "Future Pop" an accurate term for the creepycute compositions roiling off this record? Maybe so, in the sense that what's old is new and what's new is old and time may have no meaning after all. Deep thoughts.

This feels a little like an electro-pop "Night On Bald Mountain" for twenty-first century journal-junkie teenage girls. These guys are based in Montreal? Of course they are - Purity Ring's music would play well with the astonishing acrobatics of Cirque Du Soleil - wonderfully weird music for a wonderfully weird circus show - the singer would astonish with lyrics like "cut open my sternum and poke my little ribs around you" while international acrobats would astonish by spinning like tops on each other's pinky fingers...or something like that.

In the lyrics to "Saltkin" Megan James intones "there's a cult, a cult inside of me" but with the kind of hauntingly charming "future pop" songs found on SHRINES, Purity Ring may also have a cult on the outside to deal with before they know it.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
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