There are artists you like, and there artists you feel like you’ve been forced to like on account of all the blogger browbeating. Ryn Weaver – born Erin Wüthrich – feels like a bit of both: OctaHate was a genuine Charli XCX–Benny Blanco co-written smash, but then everything since then has had a tinge of the Emperor.
What has been slightly unfair is the dismissal of Weaver as a Lana-esque puppet because of her fully-formed pop star behaviour. The Fool proves one thing at least: it doesn’t matter where the music comes from if someone like Weaver can take it above mediocrity to show just how much star quality she really has. And that’s salient within the first few minutes of Runaway alone.
Weaver’s unfettered charisma is what keeps The Fool afloat, as she practically raises an army on the choruses of Pierre and the title track. Where another rising pop star like Zella Day was somewhat let down by occasionally derivative material, Weaver sounds fresh even on the most radio-friendly jams, delivering the most plainly accessible lyrics. Quirkier moments like Traveling Song are balanced by sure-shot hits like Here Is Home, and it becomes rather clear that these are songs that might crumble under a lesser, paint-by-numbers sort of newcomer.
Is she the latest iteration of pop godhood, then, or is this just another case of those New Clothes? The Fool genuinely feels like neither. Instead it’s a bold, unrelenting statement from Ryn Weaver, her planting of a flag in a crowded pop landscape and keeping it aloft for the duration of a debut record. More fool anyone who dares to underestimate her strength after this.
The Fool by Ryn Weaver can be ordered here.