Preacher’s Daughter (studio album) by Ethel Cain
Ethel Cain bestography
Preacher’s Daughter is ranked as the best album by Ethel Cain.
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Preacher’s Daughter track list
The tracks on this album have an average rating of 70 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).
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This album has a Bayesian average rating of 71.0/100, a mean average of 70.8/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 70.8/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.8.
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Interesting major swing here, the Lana comparisons are unavoidable though she sacrifices Lana's detached cool for a more culturally specific, introspective singer-songwriter expose of the brutal flipside of the classic "American Dream", which again isn't exactly the daring target it once was despite coming from her own troubled baptist background. It's still compelling and notably eclectic in sounds, from the shimmering, reverb-heavy dream pop of "American Teenager" that's less early 90s shoegazing dream pop than say a more culturally specific modern Hatchie-style interpretation of that sound, along with the lyrically opaque 70s introspective folkstyle and the often slow burning, moody, eventually implosive distorted alt-rock - all very on-trend, though notably also throwing in the occasional slide into haunted White Chalk-era PJ Harvey or early Cat Power lo-fi (or more so like a Hiss Spun-era Chelsea Wolfe's interpretation of those sounds) to signify the album's crawling into her darkest psychological corners. It's compelling on first glance, but ultimately trying to tie a specific narrative to such a style-hopping set of songs along with the album's suffocating bloat (ding ding ding Lana) keeps it from becoming this grand all-american tragic narrative it's aiming for, especially considering it's 11th hour attempts at some truly shocking and brutal conclusions. Ultimately this ends up being just another sprawling, somewhat overdetermined release from a promsing young artist who's probably going to deliver something much more effective a few albums down the line, but even if you have to dig through the overjammed pit here there are some truly compelling and startling moments, particularly tracks 8-11, though some filler afterwards ruins what was surely intended to be a jugular-spewing finale.
Album Rating: 72.69
1.Family Tree (Intro). 83
2.American Teenager. 66
3.A House In Nebraska. 71
4.Western Nights. 69
5.Family Tree. 78
6.Hard Times. 65
8.Gibson Girl. 81
10.August Underground. 82
12.Sun Bleached Flies. 68
Maybe a tad overlong but I love the mythology behind Ethel Cain as an artist and really vibed with the album in general.
Part confessional, part ethereal, part time and place all sewn together with deep religious theology from her upbringing ‘Preachers Daughter’ stuns as a strong contender for AOTY
“Preacher’s Daughter” is hazy on the surface. Cain’s vocals are produced in a dragged out foggy manner that muddles the feelings. If presented in a clearer way, the singing could have been a highlight. The album also suffers from overextension. The instrumentals can be plodding with long stretches of minimal change. Being over an hour in run time also exposes a lot of flaws.
Beneath the surface, there is an effective sinister narrative. Cain weaves a vivid story with emotional, detailed writing. The characters have conflicted values and often appear in different ways on different tracks. The ending is particularly surprising with its abrupt grizzly nature. With a more advantageous sound, Ethel Cain’s talents could fully express themselves.
This album is absolutely stellar, I had never heard of Cain before this but Preacher’s Daughter blew me away. She’s one to watch, keep a close eye on her.
This wants to be something more than it is. It's steeped in aesthetic suggestion of something dark, something sinister, something lying beneath the surface under the white lace. Alas and alack if there's in fact some deeper truth or horror or horror-truth hidden under there, Cain hasn't the faintest idea what it is. Strangers has a nice build and payoff, but almost everything else on the album is just cringe overproduced sanitised radio-pop. That is except for the triptych of songs beginning with Ptolemaea. Those three suggest something *is* actually happening deeper within this album at a narrative/thematic level. However, once you emerge from the piano instrumental Televangelism – waiting for something to hit – you just get Sun Bleached Flies, which is a garbage song that just pretends you went on some odd detour off the road and into the dark forest – "but don't worry, you're back on the 5 lane mega-freeway and the FM radio is crisp again, let's forget what just happened!" In reality the "weird songs" were just placed where they are because that's where you put the "weird songs" in an album nowadays. It's the pop formula tolerating a bit of contained experimentation, because the thought of that sells now. I hated American Teenager.
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