Label: Dirty Hit
Released: 12th August 2022
Pale Waves’ third album, ‘Unwanted’ is the ultimate realisation of their journey from eighties-indebted indie-pop to full-on pop-punk giants. Bigger, louder and bolder than ever before, this is the sound of Pale Waves blossoming into their final formidable form.
The album carries on from where their pivotal second album ‘Who Am I?’ left off, but this time, everything is bigger and heavier, in both a literal musical sense and in terms of the songs themselves, as Heather delivers her most personal, resonant and razor-sharp lyrics.
This is an album for the community of fans that have formed the Pale Waves world and been with them from the start on a journey of inclusivity and acceptance. The feelings and emotions are ramped up to off the chart levels matching the ferociousness of the music: ‘Unwanted’ is relentless in the best way. ‘Jealousy’ is a fevered headlong charge while ‘Only Problem’ ripples with energy.
These songs have been created for playing live following the pandemic pause that hampered their last album, and you can feel the sense of excitement in the band’s playing. There’s always a sting in the tail, though, to stop you in your tracks, and the yearning piano ballad ‘Without You’ brings the goosebumps.
There are obvious touchstones here to the greats of pop-punk’s past, but it’s all delivered with an inherent Pale Wavesy-ness that makes them so special. No matter how heavier they sound and how much harder they hit, they will always sound beautifully like themselves, no more so than on the stunning all-time banger ‘Clean’.
‘Unwanted’ is the album they have been building up to their entire lives: one perfectly matched for the times and poised to take Pale Waves to new stratospheric levels.