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Album Review: Ultrapure by Briston Maroney

Briston Maroney


Release: September 22, 2023

Review by Emma Arciola

Briston Maroney releases his sophomore album Ultrapure, which he says "reflects that pursuit, and eases anyone's fears about needing to know everything." Ultrapure is refreshing and is like a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel sort of album. A pure and sensitive piece of art that I believe will be inspiring for everyone that listens. Inspiring to live life to the best it could be and to be "Ultrapure". Working together with Daniel Tashian and Konrad Snyder, Maroney was able to create an album truly personal to himself. Everything about this album shares pieces of Maroney to his fans from his personal lyrics to every instrument; which he played all himself. This album uncovers the beauty in vulnerable memories from Maroney, creating an honest album that I'm sure his listeners will appreciate.


A short and soft entrance with guitar and birds, in the distance, creates the foreground for the album. With lyrics, that speaks about growing old and the "ultrapure" childlike attitude towards it. A 44 second song is able to capture so much before the following song continues the message. The following songs Body, Breathe, and Chaos Party, honor the pains that gave some bittersweet lessons to Maroney. The lessons you learn when you're young and lost but also understanding growth doesn't occur without some challenge. Maroney carries you through his addictive vocals and catchy instrumentals.

As the album continues, the audience can feel the shift in his vocals. Sunburn Fades sets a different tone and creates a turning point. In this song, the listener can hear the slight desperation in his voice mixed with. It grasps at the listener with vulnerability. Maroney says that Sunburn Fades was a song that allowed him to be truly truthful with himself. The depth of the deep-toned guitar that accompanies his vocals lures his listeners. With heartbreaking lyrics like "If I go, would I be someone's anything?" It's clear there is nothing ingenuine about this song.

Sunshine and Delaware bring a sense of life to the second half of the album. Maroney expressed that these songs were also for his mother and the love he has for her. The uncertainty he felt in his early life is echoed in these few songs.

Detonator, The Idea, and Spring, all reflect love in different forms. The love and the pain that is experienced throughout life. The heartbreak when things don't work out. These three songs though touch upon similar topics, feel so distant. With Detonator feeling like naive coming-of-age heartbreak. The Idea feels mature and painful. Spring feels desperate and fresh. The listener grows older with Maroney through these songs.

Sink Swim speaks to the uncertainty of growing up. Growing up and learning how to navigate life. With lyrics like "Every light is bound to burn out. That don't mean we can see in the dark." Understanding that you don't have to grow up alone. Everything is new and you can either "sink or swim", which perfectly transitions into the end of the album.

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