Friday, 28 November 2014
#1: FKA Twigs - LP1
Every cross-pollination between genres and production styles; every patchwork snatch of texture ripped from an old TLC chorus, or a Missy Elliot beat, or a whole Aaliyah song; everything that popular music has been creating, or borrowing, or straight up stealing in the last ten years: as bold as it sounds, you can't help but feel like it all was building up to this album. This is the generation that gave us James Blake, The xx, and Aluna George, artists who looked back at the decade of their childhood without irony, without cringing or sneering, but with a genuine love of where those artists were taking their sound, and where that sound could go in the 21st century. So LP1 was born, addict in utero to that silky-smooth R'n'B sound. The first half of the record is a masterclass in minimalist production, with Tahliah Barnett's seductive whisper front and centre, although album centrepiece and single of the year 'Two Weeks' dominates with as much power as grace, with uncompromising lines like 'I can fuck you better than her' dancing around the incremental throb of the chorus' maximalist synths. Later on, Barnett hints at her former career as a backing dancer in 'Video Girl', though by now you're codeine-woozy from how gloriously rich the whole thing is, and there's a good chance that any meaning the words might have will have to be relayed to you afterwards.