FKA Twigs, who received this nickname because of how loudly she could crack her joints, has been rising in the Pop/R&B world. She has been causing waves in the past few years with her EPs and her unusual look. FKA Twigs started out as a dancer, appearing in music videos for Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, and Kylie Minogue. Realizing she’d rather be a musician, FKA Twigs transitioned into a musician releasing two EPs that were well received. Fans of her EPs waited for her album LP1 to be available with great anticipation. When her album LP1 was released, it was praised unanimously from fans and critics. But is this album worth the hype? Or is it ruined by it?
Right from the start FKA Twig’s album brings a subtle difference that brings life back into the genre of R&B. When you dive into this album, you’ll immediately notice that FKA Twigs throws in other genres such as trip-hop, giving her a style of her own. It feels like a poster child reminiscent of Björk, Aaliyah, and famous tri-hop bands such as Portishead and Tricky. With these influences, FKA Twigs brings forth an album that is both experimental and whimsical at the same time. The intro “Preface” is the perfect example. It’s very experimental and sets the perfect tone of this album. Quoting the poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Twigs starts off the album singing, “I love another, and thus I hate myself.” She sings in a voice so angelic, it almost sounds like you’re in a cathedral. When she quotes him, a haunting, heavy production rises from the background.
The production features various musicians on the album such as Clams Casino, Emile Haynie, and Paul Epworth. The most distinguishable producer of her group that she was able to get was Arca, a Kanye West collaborator who worked on Yeezus. His work on Yeezus seeps into her songs, bringing in an added layer of sound to this album. You would think it would be a mess with all these producers, along with Twigs working together on the production. Yet she somehow makes it work, strengthening her vision on LP1.
Her voice is the most essential piece in this album that will, at times, leave you in awe. Almost like a ballet dancer, FKA Twigs voice feels natural. A song could start off with a soft sigh that will quickly transition into a piercing cry, which could leave an effect on you. Though there is digital enhancement that sounds like auto-tune, FKA Twigs mysteriously makes this work for her. Along with her voice in the electronic noise, FKA Twigs brings forth a sound that feels futuristic, where the technology syncs with the singer.
Despite her powerful voice, FKA Twigs is not an outstanding lyricist. At least not yet in her career; some of the tracks feel clunky with her vocals, and at times, feel underwhelmed when the beautiful production is blaring in the background. Another problem with the album, though not a major flaw, is that a couple of songs pale in comparison to the other tracks. “Closer” feels bare and stripped. While the final song, “Kicks,” starts off a little slow, it gradually comes around ending on a good note. It leaves you wishing for a more climatic ending to this excellent album.
FKA Twigs still possesses a strong and unique vision that hasn’t been seen in quite some time. Not being one dimensional, FKA Twigs seems to have total control over her distinct sound. Her high-pitch vocals swing through her songs, along with the darker stems of the instrumentals. LP1 brings forth a monumental album that pushes boundaries. It may neither be perfect nor will this album be for everyone. But FKA Twigs ushers forth a sound that’s fresh and rich, bringing something new not only into R&B, but for music as a whole. In the end, LP1 is an album that deserves the hype it’s attracting, and every music lover should give this album a listen.