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Review: Chelsea Wolfe – Unknown Rooms

Artist: Chelsea Wolfe

Album: Unknown Rooms

Grade: C+

Despite critical acclaim for this album on the other side of the Atlantic, for many Irish listeners an album such as this would be a case of déjà entendu if not a case of déjà vu. Typical of the genre of guitar-singing women in the vein of Cat Power, this album is a perfectly acceptable effort, based primarily on Wolfe’s voice soaring above sparse instrumentation.

The album’s closing track, ‘Sunstorm’, is one of its strongest, based around a very simple but effective set of jarring piano chords while Wolfe sings what could be almost described as an internal monologue. There is something comfortingly familiar about the melody, helped by the almost constant refrain of ‘I remember everything you said’, as if she is speaking directly to the listener.

Others may also find solace in the scarily Cat Power-esque ‘Boyfriend’, where Wolfe does seem to rise, though only for a moment, above the collective babble of her peers, but unfortunately it is only a flash in the pan.

In a Nutshell: Slightly repetitive, sparsely instrumented and vocally incomplete.