Whitney – Forever Turned Around
Chicago duo Whitney return in predictable but beautiful form
If there is such a thing, Whitney’s sophomore record represents the calm after the storm. Three years ago, Light Upon the Lake presented the Chicago duo as musically drawn to beauty and thematically leaning towards melancholy. Max Kakacek’s slight but handsome melodic guitars, Julien Ehrlich’s fragile croon, the twinkly piano and the pretty production made for a first foray that suggested wisdom beyond its creators’ years. That’s before you dig into the lyrics, which – from the bereft opener No Woman to the quiet meditation on grief and the passage of time that was closer Follow – exposed a profound vein of sadness beneath all the surface beauty.
Forever Turned Around still sounds every inch a Whitney record, but that lyrical tone is tentatively swapped out. After the soft resignation of Giving Up, the story of this second LP is one of quiet optimism, from the nervy satisfaction of Used to Be Lonely to the measured reflection of My Life Alone via endearingly open-hearted cuts Song for Ty and Friend of Mine.
Whitney toured absolutely exhaustively in support of Light Upon the Lake, so it is to their credit that they've been able to produce a follow-up that sounds quite this meticulous and stately. All of the beats are familiar, perhaps to a fault, from the instrumental at the midpoint to the shyly epic closer, but Forever Turned Around represents nuanced progress from an admirably subtle band.
Listen to: Used to Be Lonely, Friend of Mine