Review by Zach Perez
In their self-titled, fourth studio album, Chastity Belt presents a more mature and thoughtful performance but in doing so, sacrifices some of the variety that helped make this talented group of women so attention grabbing.
In contrast to some of the band’s earlier work, Chastity Belt is a soft rock album at its most intense and a low-fi acoustic album at its most tranquil. The band’s once powerful and in-your-face vocals have been replaced by scaled back, better enunciated verses that show that each of this album’s ten tracks has something to say. The witty satire seen in the lyrics of albums like Time To Go Home and No Regrets is not entirely absence but is largely removed from this showing.
In terms of instrumental structure, Chastity Belt is a toned down version of the bands previous work. All of the same excellent guitar and keyboard playing is present, just formatted to fit the theme of the album. In all honesty, I found that I preferred this softer version of the band over their previous sound. Ultimately though, personal preference will dictate whether or not you enjoy the changes made for this album.
While the changes made by Chastity Belt for this album may divide fans’ opinions, it’s clear that the changes made served a purpose. The band crafted this album after a short hiatus that seems to re-energized both their passion and intention for making music.
I’ll admit that I did have issues with this album. I felt that the lyrics still packed meaning, but the way they presented were things we’ve before. This criticism arose from when doing my first and second listen through of the album. A majority of the tracks on this album have several beats and rhythms that near indistinguishable from one another. If you asked me to listen to the beginning of the last four tracks on the album and tell you which was which, I don’t think I could.This album is good, I’m not arguing that it isn’t. I’m arguing that it likes both the style that originally made the band great, and something unique enough to fill that hole. Chastity Belt an album that deserves to be listened to, the band it just seems to have misplaced their focus.
- Ann’s Jam
- It Takes Time
- Pissed Pants