[sic] Magazine

Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up

Colleen Green’s third LP, I Want To Grow Up (on-trend pink artwork and all), comprises 10 punchy pop-punk songs in 38 highly enjoyable minutes. Very often it’s all about tracks these days, but Colleen Green has never written anything but true songs and here, for the first time, she’s had some help laying them down, recruiting JEFF The Brotherhood‘s Jake Orrall on a number of instruments (and, boy, is his trademark crunch felt on whirling highlights like the sludgy “Grind My Teeth”), as well as Diarrhea Planet‘s Casey Weissbuch on drums … not that you can really tell in Weissbuch’s case as his rhythms are as tinny and precise as Green’s usual programmes. In any case, Green’s formula remains super simple. Drums + melodic fuzz + bubblegum vocal = retro slacking majesty.

I Want To Grow Up is one of those albums that really captures a period in an artist’s life. Green has now reached an age (it’s not polite to say which) at which she’s “sick of being dumb”. She’s nervous of growing old, wondering how to do it gracefully and if she’ll ever find love in the process (“Will I die before becoming a wife / I wonder if I’m even the marrying kind”). Her self-questioning and doubts will strike a chord with many a listener for I Want To Grow Up is a very relatable record, Green’s seemingly throwaway lyrics about finally facing, ugh, adulthood resonating long after her record stops spinning.

Green thus muses on topics such as stopping doing “Things That Are Bad For Me” despite still wanting to, worrying about her short attention span, as well as her on/off relationship with TV and its relative comforts. Her confessions are sometimes diaryesque, a series of out-of-love songs dialling back the fuzz to reveal wistful West Coast pop in keeping with her LA base. The Best Coast-like “Some People” is especially memorable in this vein, detailing Green’s dismay at how she finds it so difficult to find love and/or move on after a break-up when comparing herself to others, which from an outsider’s perspective does seem odd as she really does have cute and cool all but sewn up. Come on. How adorable are those glasses she wears all the time?

Ironically however, considering the subject matter, I Want To Grow Up sees Green at her most musically confident. The wicked, toe-tapping bass groove in “Deeper Than Love”, for example, is real evidence of her branching out, the cool little synth squiggle at its half-way point and her whispery, vulnerable vocal ear-catching in the hypnotic mix too. She knows how to use restraint as well, limiting Orrall’s gnarly shred to only a few outros so as not to let him dominate.

Well sequenced to boot, I Want To Grow Up’s Eureka moment comes during its final song, “Whatever I Want”. Green realises during its course – and mercifully it’s not too late – that, in fact, there’s no template when it comes to getting older. She can do whatever she wants. She doesn’t “have to be scared any more.” It turns out that all those that identify strongly with Green’s record needn’t bother with life coaching after all. In one deft pivot Miss Green has unlocked all there is to know.

Best track: “Grind My Teeth”

~I Want To Grow Up is released 23rd Feb 2015 on Hardly Art.~