[16 October 2013]
“I live for the night / I live for the lights / I live for the high, ‘til I’m free fallin’.” Yep, that’s the sentiment EDM-pop trio Krewella deliver on their debut album, Get Wet. Face it, Jahan, Yasmine, and Rain Man enjoy ‘living it up’, evidenced throughout the affair. As an album, Get Wet could be likened to a rich dessert; it’s stuffed with fat, calories, and sugar. While that dessert is certainly delicious and definitely a guilty pleasure, without some healthier choices, it isn’t completely good for you. Get Wet is just that, an enjoyable album that certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel nor bring anything extraordinarily meaningful to the table.
“Live for the Night” proves to be a savvy opener for Get Wet, characterized with bright production work epitomizing the EDM genre. Along with optimistic sounds comes biting, unapologetic lyrics, including standout “My head is in the clouds / You can say that I’m a dreamer / But I bang it super loud / Turn that b*tch into a screamer.” ‘Living for the night’ may not be the most responsible message to convey, but it’s certainly a fun one. The proceeding “We Go Down” has a tough act to follow, but manages to hold its own with a message of togetherness: “If we go down / we all go down together… falling all as one tonight / if we go down down, down, we all go down together.” Throw in the obligatory f-bomb for emphasis to match the edgy hip-hop/electro-pop sound, and “We Go Down” rocks.
“Come & Get It” accelerates the tempo and pours on the vocal processing. As its title suggests, it makes you wanna ‘come and get it’. For an electro number, there are some impressive lyrical moments, most notably “Mouth to mouth I breathe you in / Swallow down your jagged sin / Let it drown inside my veins / The sweetest I could take…” Like previous cuts, the production woos, inviting the listener to groove. “Enjoy the Ride” doesn’t skip a beat either, even adding some captivating powerhouse vocals to the mix. Krewella also provides the listener some ‘electronic-relief’, stripping some of the electro elements temporarily following the second verse. As they say, “it’s the little things”, the subtleties.
Little is subtle about “We Are One”, particularly considering the cut seems to similar thematically and lyrically to the previous number “We Go Down”. Sure, both tracks have their distinctions, but the notion of ‘unity’ seems to be a shared principle. If there were serious objection, the sinful “Dancing with the Devil” erases them, even if damnation seems to be involved. Lyrically, the trio continue to flex their rebelliousness, proclaiming “We are louder than your bullshit / So you’re just dancing with the devil…” Having a minor key at work and guests Travis Barker and Patrick Stump certain elevate the killer cut to the next level.
“Alive” provides contrast and balance, eschewing curses for more substance and a softer side. The prominent use of piano makes this cut more pop-like without the expected electronic bag of tricks. It’s still true enough to the genre, but it’s understandable why the single blew up. And still, the ambition of ‘living it up’ drives the number: “I’m making the night mine until the day I die…” “Pass the Love Around” once more goes for togetherness, but third time doesn’t prove to be charm, or at least as charming. It’s not a bad cut, but pales against more notable highlights.
“Ring of Fire” again opts for a darker timbre and shock-value lyrics with its f-bomb opening salvo. Maybe it’s forced assertiveness, but “Ring of Fire” is quite enjoyable, proving to be the last strong number. “Human” falls flat in comparison, even with its thoughtful pacing with the entrance of synths and bass drops. Penultimate number “Killin’ It” opts for simple lyrics to match up against a menacing sound. Not poetic in least, Krewella do clearly deliver their point. Closer “This Is Not the End” (featuring Pegboard Nerds) feels as if the once exciting set loses some of its steam by the end. Well produced, the cut seems to be more filler than truly cutting edge.
Ultimately, Get Wet easily has more pros than cons. The production is consistently top rate while the majority of the songs are worthwhile as well. While the album is certainly no innovative ‘tour de force’, electronic music lovers particularly should have no problem sinking their teeth into this guilty pleasure. Not the year’s most memorable album, there is definitely promise here.