Best Albums of 2011: #14
Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
After Girls' debut album dropped in 2009, the surfer-rock indie band was quick to talk about moving in a new direction. While Album was lofi and almost minimalist in a way, Father, Son, Holy Ghost feels overindulgent in comparison. Musically, Girls has opened up to a vast array of new instruments, effects, and new sense of fidelity that makes them sound like a whole new band. "Vomit" is a Floydian ballad that features a gospel choir and an organ while "Die" is a hard-hitting instrumental metal track. Well, "sort of" metal.
But that's not the only thing new about Father, Son, Holy Ghost -- it does that very same thing emotionally as well. The range of emotion on Girls goes from unadulterated bliss on "Honey Bunny" to somber melancholy on "My Ma" to sickening depression on "Vomit". The only thing that holds the whole thing together is the presence of courageous frontman Christopher Owens. Emotionally fragile but brutally honest at every turn, Owens faces up to his past ghosts and relationships -- not denying them, but also not letting them determine his future. If Father, Son, Holy Ghost is an album about identity like Owens says it is, it offers a thrilling expose on the endless potential of life.
Best tracks: "Alex", "Vomit"