Washed Out: Purple Noon – Smooth but interest wears thin

Album covers ground previously explored many, many times before

Purple Noon
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Artist: Washed Out
Genre: Electronic
Label: Sub Pop

No matter if the sun isn’t beating the sweat out of your brow or the wind isn’t whispering a calm breeze under your armpits – US producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ernest Greene has been delivering weather-nondependent music for more than 10 years.

From his 2011 debut album, Within and Without (which officially introduced his nostalgic, under-ether chillwave to the public at large), Greene has gamely taken on the persona of the title of his third album (2017's Mister Mellow) to usher in Purple Noon, which is as too-smooth a piece of work you'll hear this year unless you dig out your Sade and Phil Collins records for a game of compare-and-cross-reference.

In other words, while the intent to deliver an album that pops a few corks on a Mediterranean beachfront patio is glorious, Purple Noon’s airy lightness is securely tethered by such explicit influences (including Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 thriller The Talented Mr Ripley, first filmed in 1960 by French director René Clément as – quelle surprise – Purple Noon).

There are agreeable conceptual twists and turns that run through the album – songs such as Too Late, Game of Chance, and Time to Walk Away loosely outline a narrative of love found, lost and recovered. Interest soon wears thin, however, when you realise you've heard this kind of radiant Balearic chatter so many, many times before. washedout.net

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture