Whoever it was that broke Kelly Zutrau's heart deserves a jolly good pat on the back. After all, if it wasn’t for the pain and anguish this dastardly individual caused the front woman of Wet, the Brooklyn trio may not have turned in such a devastatingly candid debut.
‘Don’t You’ specialises in recycling that raw emotion into ‘90s-influenced R&B lullabies. The LP is front-loaded with the single cuts, a collection that together creates a seamless narrative of a painful break-up. Fragile opener ‘It’s All In Vain’ gives the lover one last chance to save the flawed relationship, while ‘Deadwater’ channels optimism through retrospect. ‘Don’t Want To Be Your Girl’ is a firm goodbye before the relapse of ‘Weak’, a yearning slow burner. Zutrau's deeply personal lyrics leave little to the imagination, making us feel like we’re eavesdropping on a conversation with a former lover.
Master of the dials Joe Valle illustrates the story beautifully, balancing understated yet powerful soundscapes with Zutrau’s light-as-a-feather vocals. The producer’s signature sound stacks ambient pads and muted beats, occasionally permeating the mix with refreshing sweeps of Marty Sulkow’s guitar. It’s a formula that has proven itself with each of the singles but it’s one that Valle revisits throughout the album and after several tracks becomes predictable and soporific.
‘Small And Silver’ is a welcome break around the halfway mark, when their stock in trade is replaced with unsettling bass and an off-beat production. However, it’s only a hint of a promise to explore new territories and doesn’t go far enough to vary the album. Wet have definitely found their sound on ‘Don’t You’ but it’s true, you can have too much of a good thing.
Words: Lisa Henderson
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