God of Love drop new album Do Your Worst
Like a glimpse from beneath hangover-heavy eyelids, “Dallas Skyline” teases us with the promise of something beautiful on the other end of darkness if only we’re strong enough to seek it out. The same can be said for the structurally conflicted “Fingers Crossed” as well.
Truth be told, scarcely does it feel as though we’re not trying to find the brighter side of things when venturing into the cavernous poetic mind of God of Love this November, whose new album in Do Your Worst doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to breaking down conventional emotional foundations, lyrical predictability, and even something as simple as the common relationship between singer and strings. God of Love’s underground rank might deceive some people coming into this record; of all the alternative works I’ve sampled from in the past year, this channels the most intimate vibes through minimalism (“If Today Doesn’t Last,” “Green Eyes Black Night”) and surreal bombast (“Black Beyond,” the superstar “Take You Seriously”) at the same time. Do Your Worst has a lot of drive, and it feels like an identity album if I’ve ever listened to one before.
The lead vocal always seems to be a little removed from whatever synth play we’re hearing in songs like “Take You Seriously” and “Do You See That Light,” and I think this was deliberately done in the mixing process to create some juxtaposition between the presence of the instrumentation and that of the singer. The soft string parts in “If Today I Don’t Last” and “Where I Go At Night” are capable of inflicting the most pain when you’re in a vulnerable mood and unprepared for the brooding tonal lash they can dish out, but in the big picture they help to shape the personality of Do Your Worst like nothing else could have.
Listen to Do Your Worst on Spotify.
All of the instruments in this record, whether we’re talking about acoustic guitars or pianos, even something as simple as a subtle bassline behind the voice at the forefront of the spotlight, it’s all possessing a superb weightiness that I normally don’t expect to find anywhere in pop or rock anymore because of the stripped-down aesthetics trending on both sides of the dial.
I wasn’t listening to God of Love before I got my hands on a pre-release copy of the excellently stylish Do Your Worst this October, but the contents of this nine-song tracklist have left me really energized about seeing where this act goes next. Right off the top, the lyrics contained in songs like “Do You See That Light” are personal and unforgivingly introspective, but they’re not so enclosed that they’re inaccessible to the listener.
I haven’t come across a record as volatile and immersive by design since Darren Jessee’s 2018 masterpiece The Jane, Room 217. Do Your Worst follows in the tradition of that LP as well as Jim Clements’ A Failure in borrowing enough from folk/rock and post-punk traditions to be pure, wholesome, but totally unhinged when it matters the most. Top to bottom, this is a five-star effort.