Published Mar 31, 2020There's no rushing Purity Ring. The Canadian electronic duo's third album, WOMB, is the product of three years of scattered writing sessions and comes half-a-decade after the dance-inflected Another Eternity.
That's a dog's age in pop music, but what Megan James and Corin Roddick lack in speed they make up for in detail. From the convulsive low-tempo drops on opener "rubyinsides" through to the gossamer synthwave of lead single "stardew," it's apparent that WOMB is Purity Ring's most elaborate production to date.
Part of that is down to the way the pair reorient their old hallmarks. Longtime listeners will be more than familiar with the pitched-down vocals that open "pink lighting"; what they might not anticipate is the meteoric rush that follows as the track hits its stride. James's lyrics dial back the body horror without hampering her emotional dexterity. "femia" strikes a delicate balance between menace and mournfulness that's plenty visceral even without the viscera.
After such a long absence, WOMB probably won't put Purity Ring back at the front of pop's vanguard — it's more of a steady refinement than a great leap forward. The wait may have been long, but the results are mature and compassionate enough to justify it. (Crystal Math)