That said- it’s hard to view Badlands as a non-alienating experience. While it is undoubtedly cool and it feels remarkably effortless, both its purposeful redundancy and lo-fi distortion periodically render it an uncomfortable experience for the listener. This is some bleak, somber stuff. However, this technique also works in the album’s favor. While Badlands opener “Speedway King” may reach a crescendo too unnerving to bear, it’s hard to argue that tracks 3-6 (“Sweet 17”, “A Hundred Highways”, “True Blue”- where we are treated to a graceful croon, “Lord Knows Best”) are not an incredibly rewarding stretch of bizarro Post-Boogie Woogie madness. The album is also well assembled and deliberately strays from moments of overt indulgence. Dirty Beaches concludes the journey not with more grating pitchiness- but with softer, ambient static that gently recalls the perpetual motion of a pendulum. For a twenty-seven minute, nine-track album, Badlands feels incredibly expansive- best playing on repeat during the darkest hours of the night.
STANDOUT TRACKS INCLUDE:
Dirty Beaches - Sweet 17 by ObscureSound
Dirty Beaches - A Hundred Highways by sunofbeach
Dirty Beaches - True Blue by MartineWebzine
Dirty Beaches - Lord Knows Best by thesubs-blog