Is there a better feeling than getting your high expectations met? Punisher, Phoebe Bridgers' highly anticipated second solo album, following up her highly acclaimed Stranger In the Alps, is a record created for long, reflective, sleepless nights; a record of introspective and personal songs that never gets maudlin or overdramatic, thanks to Phoebe's witty way of playing with words and her exclusive talents for sharp left-turns ("I wanted to see the world through your eyes until it happened / then I changed my mind", "And when I find you, you touch my leg and I insist / but I wake up before we do it"). Her songs are both childish and serious at the same time, regardless of the topic being an Elliott Smith-fangirl ("Punisher") or if it is about her alcohol-abusing father ("Kyoto").
Each song on Punisher is a polished little gem, and the cohesiveness and lack of filler material make the album grow stronger the more you listen until it explodes in a chaotic Sufjan Stevens-way on the powerful final "I Know the End", before fading out with Phoebe's eerie breaths. Charming, inviting, dazzling, and lyrical; Punisher is breathtaking, indeed. Top tracks: "Garden Song", "Kyoto", "ICU", "I Know the End".
Follow onespalt_reviews on Instagram for more reviews written by Douglas Dahlström.