Here I am, back at it again with my inconsequential opinions on music! As I said in my last Mini Music Reviews post, I’ve decided to do flash reviews for albums instead of full-length ones. That way I can hide the fact that I don’t really know much about music. Nope, you’ll never know that.
Today I’ve got a smaller collection of albums to talk about. And they’re all pop or alternative pop projects by female solo artists. A coincidence, I assure you. Anyway, here are my hot takes.
My Thoughts: Taylor Swift and I have a complicated relationship. As I person, I really don’t like or trust her. But as an artist? She gets to me every time. I guess sometimes it’s possible to separate the art from the artist.
Lover takes the best aspects of Red, 1989, and Reputation and creates something new with them. There are hints of every Taylor Swift that ever was in the sound of this record. And yet, the only Swift that is speaking now is the Swift of today. This album is both lovestruck and heartbroken. In many ways, it’s Swift’s most mature album.
I do have my gripes with it, namely “ME!” and “You Need to Calm Down.” Both songs are so tonally different from the rest of the album and also aren’t good. And truthfully, a few of these tracks could’ve been cut and the album wouldn’t miss them. I’d honestly consider Lover a perfect record, if not for these huge blemishes.
Against my better judgment, I am forced to love this album. It gets to me in ways I haven’t been gotten to in quite some time. I could easily see Lover making my best list this year.
Highlights: Cruel Summer, Lover, Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince, Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. Dixie Chicks), False God, Afterglow, & Daylight
My Thoughts: K. Flay is an artist that snuck up on me. I liked “Blood in the Cut” a few years ago, but never ventured beyond that. Then came 2019, which brought a slew of singles by Flay. And I’ve liked every single one of them.
This alternative pop record is somehow both cynical and hopeful. This is highlighted by Flay’s slightly off-key delivery. Her vocal style isn’t about technical ability— it’s about the emotion she’s trying to convey. While Solutions isn’t as dark as her older stuff, it’s definitely worth a listen.
Highlights: Bad Vibes, This Baby Don’t Cry, Sister, Ice Cream, & Not in California
My Thoughts: Have you ever listened to an album that is objectively good, but just doesn’t connect with you? Yeah, that’s how I feel about this album. In theory, I should love it. It takes what Jepsen did on E•MO•TION and builds on it. But it just doesn’t hit me the same way.
There’s not a single song on this record that I’d call bad. It’s just that I can only see myself listening to a handful of these songs more than once. The good news is they’re great songs. This just isn’t the follow-up I was hoping for.
Highlights: Now That I Found You, Want You in My Room, & Too Much
My Thoughts: What’s better than gay alternative pop? Absolutely nothing. I love the ‘80s pop influence and the overall vibe of Forevher. It’s dreamy and exquisite. The production is so crisp and pristine. It’s the kind of album you close your eyes and float away to.
Shura does some really interesting things with this record. She experiments with autotune in a very artful way. Her vocals are ethereal and angelic. The upbeat songs are absolute bops. The slower songs are an experience unto themselves. I can’t believe I haven’t been listening to Shura all this time.
Highlights: Side Effects, Religion (U Can Lay Your Hands on Me), Princess Leia, Forever, Control, & Skyline, Be Mine
Have you listened to any of these albums? Do you agree with my thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comments!