beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers Review

Label: Dirty Hit

Release Date: 16th October 2020

Rating: 7/10

"Fake It Flowers gives an effortless nod to the 90s with its feisty lyrics and powerful guitar riffs."

Fake It Flowers artwork.

Fake It Flowers, beabadoobee’s debut album, has been much anticipated since her single ‘Coffee’ went viral in 2017, much to her surprise. Shockingly being the first song that she had ever written on guitar, she even admitted herself that she felt it was underdeveloped, lacking a solid tempo. Fake It Flowers, on the other hand, displays a purposeful and fully-formed artist.

Arguably the punchiest track, opener ‘Care’ sets off the trajectory of the album with its defiant refrain "you don’t really care." The style is reminiscent of modern bands like Wolf Alice, which is not entirely surprising considering that both are signed to Dirty Hit. Alongside these modern influences, Fake It Flowers gives an effortless nod to the 90s with its feisty lyrics and powerful guitar riffs.

The root of her success, characterised by the raw and unique tone to ‘Coffee’, can be heard in songs such as ‘Back to Mars’ and ‘How Was Your Day?’. These songs provide a powerful snapshot of relationships, longing and love, explored through the lyrics in ‘Back to Mars’: “ask me again or are we something more? / doesn’t it hurt to think about how we were just before?”

Bea's soft and sweet voice creates a perfect dichotomy to the dark themes of many of her songs, solidifying her reputation as a unique and fresh artist. ‘Emo Song’, however, felt overproduced; the synths drown the raw emotion that is being presented in the lyrics, and I couldn’t help but feel the song would have had more weight if it had been left bare. Similarly to this, the songs often don’t flow into one another in a seamless or coherent way; there is a sharp, sometimes jarring, contrast between the grungy songs and quiet, intimate songs.

Despite this occasional lack of cohesion, beabadoobee has managed to achieve a catchy yet reflective debut album. ‘Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene’ finishes the album with a witty and self-aware tone, with the title derived from the names that Bea hopes to give her children. The chorus reflects the adolescent angst that beabadoobee plays with in such a clever way throughout the album: “And I think I wanna marry him / But I really don’t wanna freak him out / I know all our children’s names."

The direction which beabadoobee will go in next feels impossible to predict: it is what keeps her music so exciting and unusual.

Words by Carina Bryan.

18th October 2020.

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