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A short list of 2012's most anticipated/acclaimed debut albums to date would put Frank Ocean at the top, and also include, in no particular order: DIIV, Father John Misty, Pond, 2:54, and, without a doubt, the Canadian duo Purity Ring.
Since Megan James and Corin Roddick first began to register on radars, mid-2011, a string of singles including "Belispeak", "Ungirthed" and the recent "Fineshrine" revealed a talent for melding sample-happy RnB electro jams and James' lilting, dreamy vocals into something irresistible, not so far removed from their fellow Montrealer Grimes. Each song only stoked interest in this week's arrival of Purity Ring's debut album Shrines. Does the record deliver? A current 73 on Metacritic would suggest that most of the 'pros' say it does. Here's what some of them have been saying:
Beats Per Minute: "In lieu of surprises, there’s a cohesiveness and clarity of vision to Shrines that really adds to all of the material on here. All of Purity Ring’s previously released songs – both last year’s releases and Shrines’ lead-up singles – sound even stronger and more at home in the context of this album, as if this is where they were meant to be in the first place. The other songs, meanwhile, elaborate on the style that those songs established, lending the album an evolving, but unbroken, atmosphere."
Pop Matters: "Shrines holds skyward a handful of some of the finest offerings Planet Pop can muster in 2012, yet as an “album experience” it ultimately fails to merit a new religion. Purity Ring are an alluring concept – the lyrical imagery alone is dazzling – and there is divinity here worthy of rapture and reverence. However, even over a polite forty minutes, familiarity and repetition conspire to break the spell."
The Observer: "This is a record with reference points of the highest quality (Björk, Fever Ray, Burial), which, at best, bears comparison with them all."
It's not like at this point you don't know what you ar getting with Purity Ring. And most people we know find what they're getting in the shimmering, stuttering debut Shrines to be pretty damn addictive