The Californian succeeds, once again, in exposing the ugliness of mankind. It’ll get under your skin
It’s a combo that’s getting her talked up as America’s answer to Lily Allen, and the comparison remains accurate on at least two levels. One: she’s got loads of, like, ‘attitude’. Two: as ‘Alright, Still’ was for London in the summer, ‘The Stoop’ is to New York – the distilled sound of a ghetto-blasted block party played out a’neath a gushing fire hydrant.
But unlike Lily’s oddly personal tales of bike-riding in ‘LDN’, this is a personality vehicle that fails to demonstate the basic likeability of its subject. ‘Crying For The Queen’ has her beefing with Winehouse, advising the beehived one “people paid to see a show/They didn’t just make a kind donation”, and to “save all that crying for the Queen” not seeming to notice the distinction between legitimate diss targets and kicking-when-down. And, uh... “the Queen”? Is her follow-up ‘Do You All Live In Castles Over There?’. The level of Galileo-refuting solipsism at play is spelled out most plainly on what’s also her best track: the string-swirled ‘The World Should Revolve Around Me’. Elsewhere, her narratives scream Early 21st Century Life, without actually saying anything, clouting you round the head with LCD-screen-thin pop-cult notions: ‘LOL’ (yup) tells us her two-timing man sent the wrong text to the wrong girl, ‘Guys Like When Girls Kiss’ suggests lezzing it up as a solution to men being rubbish.
Only on ‘Black Barbie’ does her wit intersect with a target unsympathetic enough to accommodate it: the famous-for-being-famous People magazine classes (“went from a size eight to a zero… I’m a weight loss hero”). For the most part, ‘The Stoop’ is a tuneful if beige Ronson-esque production, set against clever-lyrics-for-stupid-people. Sounds like a hit, then...
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