Album Review: RÜFÜS - Blue (2012 EP)


RÜFÜS are on the climb. The three-piece’s self-titled debut EP was released in 2011 through their own label, Monekeleon, and garnered them a strong initial fan-base. The trio quickly developed a reputation for not only engrossing sounds and textures, but incredible production skills as well. Their lives shows were, and still are, met with large amounts of praise. It's been a hell of a ride so far!

2012 saw the band release a second EP - Blue. Opening with the pulsing stomp of single “This Summer”, RÜFÜS set the bar high for the rest of their EP. It isn’t exactly a reserved track, but its subdued tone provides a calm wash that doesn't get in your way. It's evocative, and in the best way.

“The Gun” sees the band launch into a tinkling and bright start, and “Droplets” sees the band bring out obtuse, glitchy mid-sections, before segueing into a huge chorus.

A sombre, piano version of "This Summer (Outro)" closes the six-track EP perfectly, returning to the stripped-back motif of the lead single and leaving the listener with but a fading taste of the release.

Ultimately, Blue builds over time. It represents a band that pay attention to detail. A band that diligently craft layer upon layer of spacey, beautiful, atmospheric pop to create something great. The timing is spot on, and RÜFÜS clearly have a strong grasp of what they're putting together. But at the end of the journey, as well-structured as the the smooth, electronic songs are - some of it fails to really reach out and grab at you. I'm not proposing that it should be in-your-face and blaringly obtuse - that's the last thing I think RÜFÜS should try, because their subtle compositions give you the privilege of noticing something new with every listen. But as an EP, it needs to drag the listener further in. It needs something to simultaneously make the listener go "wow", and forget their surroundings at the same time.

If that sounds incredibly harsh and picky, it wasn't my intention. Conveying what is ultimately a small flaw in such an interesting and strong release can be a painstakingly difficult task. This is a stunning collection of songs, all of them potential singles - but I can't help but feel that on the whole, something is missing. It's an excellent and cohesive selection of songs, but as a listening experience, Blue falls a little flat for me.

Review Score: 7.4 out of 10