Well guys, this is probably going to be my last music review this year. In fact, it may be my last formal music review ever. As much as I love talking about music, reviewing it has started to take the fun out of listening to it. It feels like an obligation, rather than me just sharing my thoughts.
As such, I’ll be changing my album review format in 2020. It’s nothing I want to get into just yet, but I thought I’d keep you all apprised of my plans going forward.
In the meantime, let’s bang out one final album review for 2019!
Cheap Queen by King Princess
I’ve been dying for a full King Princess LP since last year’s EP Make My Bed. Was Cheap Queen worth the wait? Yes… and no.
Okay, I really like this album but I don’t love it. And that’s entirely because every song on this record is midtempo, except for two which are ballads. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, especially since all the songs are good and gay. I just liked how Make My Bed was a little more upbeat.
But, aside from my one gripe, this is a great record and an impressive debut. King Princess’ voice is soothing and sweet, while her lyrics are generally more assertive and frank. It’s a delightful juxtaposition.
There’s not a single bad song on this album, but my favorites are the title track, “Prophet,” “Trust Nobody,” “Watching My Phone,” and “Hit the Back.” Oh, and I wish “Useless Phrases” were longer.
8/10 album. I’ll definitely come back to it, but it’s not a new favorite.
CHAMPION by Bishop Briggs
My only complaint about this record is that it’s only 10 songs long. When will Briggs learn that the world can never have too much of her music? This is a beautiful, tight, emotionally vulnerable collection of songs. I listened to it on repeat for a week straight.
Briggs builds on what she started with 2018’s Church of Scars, keeping that same alternative pop sound but adding some edge. For the most part, she’s abandoned the Christian motif in favor of naked honesty. It’s especially raw, knowing it comes directly after a heartbreak.
Vocally, this album is off the charts. Whether she’s belting and shouting like in “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” or performing an emotional ballad in one take a la “SOMEONE ELSE,” Briggs’ voice in on point.
Every song on this album is fantastic, but my favorites are the haunting “JEKYLL & HIDE” and the empowering “MY SHINE.” Additionally, the choice to stylize the song titles in all caps is a visual showing of how up front Briggs is being with her emotions.
10/10 record. It will probably make my best list this year.
Have you listened to either of these albums? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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