Washed Out – Purple Noon (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2022)

Washed Out – Purple Noon (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 42:25 minutes | 492 MB | Genre: Alternative, Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sub Pop Records

The fourth full-length release for Atlanta-based chillwave producer Ernest Greene was mixed by Ben H. Allen.

After two albums that took the basic Washed Out template of gentle bedroom pop and expanded it in interesting ways, 2020’s Purple Noon finds Ernest Greene back in familiar territory. There is none of the widescreen ’90s-inspired shoegaze that made 2013’s Paracosm a delight, or any of the cut-up hip hop-inspired samples that gave 2017’s Mister Mellow some bounce. Instead, the album feels like a polished, sonically boosted follow-up to the first Washed Out album Within and Without. As on that record, the mood here is subdued, the instrumentation muted, and Greene’s vocals hover on the edge of slumber as the songs roll into each other like connected dreams. It’s an immersive listening experience with one mood — melancholy — that’s explored over and over until the listener is enveloped in a wave of torpor as the synths swell and bubble, echoing vocal harmonies swirl, and the drum machines tap out rhythms like far-away SOS calls. It’s easy to get lost in the gentleness of the mix and wake up 40 minutes after hitting play, slightly dazed and wondering where the time went. It’s not a record built around songs, hooks, or tracks to be extracted and plopped in the middle of a playlist. Purple Noon is an old-school album, meant to be listened to in one sitting so the mood can’t be broken. It may not be the kind of feeling someone would want to be in everyday, but when something quiet, sad, and a little cloudy is called for, this will certainly do the trick. That said, there are a few moments where melodies and subtle hooks threaten to make a deep impression. The almost peppy “Too Late” kicks the album off with stuttering rhythms, nicely fat-sounding synths, and a huge chorus where Greene’s vocals almost cut through the murk, “Paralyzed” mixes a pretty, swaying melody with a nice late-night R&B feel, and “Hide” is a laid-back synth pop track that sounds like New Order after swallowing a bottle full of sleeping pills. Apart from these songs, the rest of the record mostly floats on vaguely disinterested clouds and by the end, it’s hard not to be disappointed that Greene has backtracked. After releasing a couple albums that showed the Washed Out sound could be altered in interesting ways, coming back with something that’s textbook chillwave can’t help but be a letdown, no matter how pretty and soothing it can be. – Tim Sendra

01. Washed Out – Too Late (04:12)
02. Washed Out – Face Up (04:08)
03. Washed Out – Time to Walk Away (04:15)
04. Washed Out – Paralyzed (03:21)
05. Washed Out – Reckless Desires (04:24)
06. Washed Out – Game of Chance (04:11)
07. Washed Out – Leave You Behind (03:52)
08. Washed Out – Don’t Go (05:20)
09. Washed Out – Hide (03:27)
10. Washed Out – Haunt (05:10)


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