Joywave’s third full-length, Possession is an album about control, and the loss of it. It’s perfect for the state of the world right now. The record is an interesting one from the band. It’s not their best work to date, but it’s probably their most accessible. Most of the album is an amalgamate of Joywave’s own brand of synth rock combined with some elements of new wave and just straight-forward alternative. It’s a cool record that starts out on that accessible side of things but drifts towards Joywave’s artistic side.
The accessible side starts out with the simple, Queen-esque “Like a Kennedy”, then moves toward the beat heavy “Coming Apart” which plays very much like a Duran Duran song. Then, “Half Your Age” a very cool new-wave song that features some of the coolest synth work you’re likely to hear. “Obsession” is another similar song, it’s accessible new wave/alternative music. Then. Things. Gets. Weird. “Blank Slate” features some odd synths, some cool vocal effects and then moves into a beat-heavy drumtastic song. It’s a cool track and even though it’s not as ‘normal’ as the previous songs on the record, it’s pretty damn good. “F.E.A.R.” is pretty similar to that. “Funny Thing About Opinions” is Joywave with a circus rhythm and clown-inspired synths and it’s rad. “Who Owns Who?” is like the nerdy version of Lionel Riche’s “All Night Long” and it just gets weirder and weirder and more awesome and more awesome from there.
There’s something eccentrically cool about the music that Joywave puts together, sometimes it can get to be too much, but most of the time it’s just fun to listen to. If they’re doing anything a little differently with this record, it’s that their lyrics are a little bit more socially conscience. That was cool three months ago, now it’s just a little bit irrelevant. You can’t really punish the band for that.
Joywave’s third record follows the past two in terms of quality. They get a little more accessible with each record, and that’s fine, but the quality of their stuff doesn’t really dip either. This isn’t going to be a typical third record for anyone, but in terms of the music. This stuff is cool.