Ethel Cain – Preacher’s Daughter

25 Dec

Preacher’s Daughter is very lush pop, sometimes to the point of being purple. At it’s best, it feels like an exciting detour into a particularly maximal kind of mainstream pop. At it’s worst, it’s slightly insipid, rather overdone, fairly predictable pop.

For instance, “American Teenager” is too classic pop for my tastes. It needed more complication and this is where the unsophisticated lyrics that run through the album come up short. It’s kind of exhausting to get through and the subthemes of the song simply reinforce it as tired.

Similarly, “A House In Nebraska” just doesn’t have enough in it. It tries to go over the top with some very large sounds, but it’s not quite good enough and the lyrics are just uninteresting cliche. Her belting the song out grates a lot more than it impresses.

She does better in the mix of lush and louche of “Gibson Girl.” The more understated and evocative “Western Nights” also does better. The very personal “Hard Times” is heartfelt and has a couple of very sharp moments.

The opener of “Family Tree (Intro)” is also incredibly promising. She has a fantastic voice and there’s some truly excellent dream pop in this album. There’s also a strong cinematic streak in her music that I greatly appreciate. It’s just that there are songs that are clearly meant for broad consumption, and while there’s nothing wrong with being mainstream, these songs are just boring and given how prominent those songs are, they drag the whole album down with them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: