Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Final Grade: B-/C+

I should say to start off that this is definitely more B- than C+.  That being said, I was overall pretty disappointed with this record, mainly because it had a lot of unreached potential.  It's apparent that FKA Twigs has her own sound, one that is super unique, but I don't think this record showcased it as well as it could have.  So much of this record was over produced, and unnecessarily so.  She has such a small, breathy voice, and instead of the beats enhancing that, they clouded it and she got lost in the background.  "Lights On" was by far the best track, I've listened to it on repeat, but even that could have done without a few things.  If anything, it's very evident that this is a debut record, but that means there's room to grow.  I think that if she really hones in on the important aspects of her sound and leaves all the excess behind, she could make some really incredible music.  I guess that's what I was mainly disappointed in - she/the sound she's going for has a lot of promise, it just needs some refining before it's there.  My friend told me to check out her EP, saying that it's a better example of her music, and luckily I believe in what she's trying to go for, so I won't let LP1 deter me from checking that out.  She'll get there, but this record as a whole didn't do it for me.  Maybe round 2?


Give Up


Songs of the Day

OK, time for the final three tracks on the album: "Closer," "Give Up," and "Kicks."
"Closer" starts off pretty cool, melodically quoting "In My Room" by The Beach Boys (more or less), which is cool (although I'm sure many people won't be able to decipher that).  I like the layering of the voices on this one, but the beat doesn't really support it the way I'd like/expect.  This is another track that falls victim to the "over-produced" vibe that many of the songs on this record have.  There's just too much unnecessary sounds going on - the track would be much more affective were it a little more stripped.  The chorus has a haunting feel to it that's cool, but there isn't much about this track that really captures me.  Eh.  I like that "Give Up" has the single vocal line without any effects in the verse, which is something that isn't common on this record - nice to switch it up a little bit.  This beat has a little less going on than the previous, which I like, and also gives you a chance to pay more attention to the vocals (since you're not getting distracted by all the bells and whistles of the beat).  Her vocals could be brought up in the mix a little bit though, the combo of her low mix and breathy vocals makes it difficult for me to understand anything she's saying, which is always a bummer.  Decent track, nothing to write home about though.  I like "Kicks," but it, yet again, is another track that I feel is overproduced.  The chorus is really catchy, vocally speaking, but I'm distracted by all of the bells and whistles going on in the background.  And I dig that the verses are much more bare, but even in the bareness, there's not enough cohesion for me to really get behind it.  All the random vocal samples throughout it are cool, but could be placed better.  Just like this record, this track had a lot of potential to be cooler than it is.  That being said, it's probably my favorite track of the day, mainly because of the vocals in the chorus.  Again, decent, but I still like a couple other tracks better.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Video Girl


Songs of the Day

So, I was sick, and then I was out of town, and then I got sick while out of town, hence the week hiatus, but I'm back to finish reviewing the FKA Twigs record.  Alrighty then...
Songs up for today are tracks 5-7: "Pendulum," "Video Girl," and "Numbers."
The first time I heard "Pendulum," I had a moment of confusion.  It starts out with this knocking sequence, and I kept going to my door thinking someone was there - false, it's just the intro.  This song has a bareness to it in the verses that I dig, it makes you pay attention to the vocals (which once again, have a haunting feel to them).  I must say, I could do away with the offbeat knocking by the second verse though, as I feel it kind of gets in the way/clashes with the rest of the beat.  The chorus is definitely where this track comes together, both within the beat and vocally.  Love the hook of "so lonely trying to be yours/when you're looking for so much more" - definitely a feeling many can relate to.  Towards the end of the track, the beat seems to get a little clouded (which is something I feel happens a lot throughout the record) - it could do with a little editing.  Cool track, not my favorite, but still cool.  "Video Girl" is another example of a song that could use a little bit of editing.  I get where it wants to go, but it doesn't execute it as well as it could.  The meters a little all over the place, and too much to be interesting; if anything, it comes off as confusing.  Her voice is also a little too breathy for me on this track, or at least her breathiness doesn't work as well on this track as other.  The beat also doesn't have any elements that really draw me to it, and it seems to get lost in itself.  I would also expect something a little more angry considering the lyrical context of the track (she's accusing her man of cheating).  This one doesn't do much for me.  Luckily, "Numbers" is a track that I can get down with (probably my favorite since "Lights On").  I dig that it opens up with the chopped n screwed element before it really gets into the track.  It's also a beat that doesn't seem to be all over the place like the previous.  Her voice is much better suited to this track as well.  Love the hook of "was I just a number to you," as so many people have felt that very way.  And even though this track does have a lot of elements to it, all of the elements seem much more cohesive than those of the previous tracks.  The end didn't need to get as out as it did, but luckily it doesn't last long before ending where it began.  Dope, I dig.