Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher review


There's no doubt that this is a stellar album, but why do you need me to tell you? You don't, but I want to. So there. 

 It opens with DVD Menu, an ambient collection of strings and sounds. Fitting, as it lulls you in. At around 1 minute 10 seconds, it feels like a dream. There are ebbs and flows like this throughout the album. 

Garden Song, a single from a while ago, is a gentle ebb into the album. With the vocal harmonies of someone who sounds like Charles Bukowski, it's haunting. Lighter is Kyoto, a more upbeat song lamenting about her time, surprisingly, in Japan. I've always wanted to go to Japan thanks to the movie Lost In Translation - one of my favourites of all time - but this song has really done a number on me. Thanks, Pheebs! 

Punisher is punishing. Why? It's just so goddamn sad. 'I love a good place to hide, in plain sight,' reverbs in this really beautiful, sad way. GOD DAMNIT. The piano is enough to put a dagger right in your heart, but you welcome it because the blood tastes so sweet. 'Either I'm careless, or I wanna get caught,' is another killer line. 

Moving on to Halloween, one of the longer songs on the album, Am I going overkill on the word haunting? Well the songs about fucking Halloween, so suck it. It's pretty haunting, and perfect for a hipster Halloween playlist when you don't want to play Monster Mash again and again. Just play this. Please.

Talking about ebbing and flowing, the next song definitely ebbs - Chinese Satellite. It's GLORIOUS. It flows into Moon Song, which is also stunningly beautiful. Slower, with ambient sounds and guitar. It's heartbreaking. It's like this gif in a sad song form:

It's a sad, sad love song. Listen to it, and cry.

Now Savior Complex is another ebb, it only has two verses. There's prominent strings on here that, cliche, tug on your heart ones. It does what it says on the tin - it laments about having a saviour complex, and what that's like. It's about vulnerability and it's wonderful. 

My favourite next!! ICU or I See You is a big, big bop. It hypes up with drums and guitar, and then slides into vocals, and it all melts together beautifully. My favourite line is about hating someone's mom. That's iconic. It's pessimistic, it notices that there's good in something but acknowledges that things might get fucked up, because why wouldn't they? All good things must end, right? 


Graceland Too has celtic-y, country sorta vibes about a girl 'who could do anything she wants to.' Is she talking about herself or is another being? Who knows. She's thinking about Elvis, anyway. A rebel without a clue. 

Big mood. 

I Know The End sounds frightening. The title, I mean. It's the longest by a mile, clocking in at 5 minutes and 45 seconds. It's a solid end of album song, it crescendos midway through and triumphantly erupts into 'The end is here,' with what sounds like a thousand - okay I'm exaggerating - voices. Then, a scream. Pianos, drums, trumpets, the lot. It's madness. I've inserted the video where Phoebe makes out with an older woman (I'm not jealous, one bit. Nope). 

It's a perfect album. Throw all your other albums in the bin. In the bin. They're not necessary anymore. 

Well done Phoebe Bridgers, you've finally broke me. 


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