Pale Waves have become one of the biggest names in indie pop/alternative rock. The sound of the work they have put out before Who Am I? has held a dreamy, indie sound. Who Am I? has changed this as it carries a much poppier tune.
The record begins with ‘Change’; a song that could easily be on an Alanis Morrissette record. The early 2000’s feel of the track sets up for the evolution of Pale Waves’ sound on this record. The second track, ‘Fall to Pieces’, continues in that same direction.
‘She’s My Religion’ is a love song that sounds like it could have been on the Billboard charts in 2003, with a sound that seems as though it was found through pure intention rather than a mix of influence. The song is directly followed by a second love song: ‘Easy’. While ‘Easy’ is a bit more upbeat, the two songs ultimately bleed into each other and then into the next, ‘Wish U Were Here’.
‘Tomorrow’ stands out in comparison to the previous three songs. Inspired by Avril Lavigne and other female pop-punk artists of the early 2000s, ‘Tomorrow’ begins a run of a slightly heavier sound on Who Am I?
‘You Don’t Own Me’ is Pale Waves’ feminist anthem. The song is driven by the attitude of being able to do whatever you want regardless of what a man says or thinks. ‘I Just Needed You’ is the record’s third love song. Only this time, it is a bit more upbeat.
Who Am I? returns to its slow, pop sound with ‘Odd Ones Out’. The song has harmonies that are reminiscent of the band’s older music. The following song, ‘Run To’, picks back up before the album’s final song and the title track, ‘Who Am I?’, which is a ballad that wraps up every emotion conveyed in the entire album into one song.
Pale Waves’ heavily 2000’s inspired pop record, Who Am I?, seems as though it is a calculated move. The record has catchy choruses and is an easy listen, but Pale Waves may have tried just a bit too hard to create the illusion that the record came out 20 years ago. Each song is good individually, but the whole album bleeds together, and it makes the listener feel as though they are listening to one long pop song. For the best listening experience, listen to Who Am I? as singles rather than as an album.