2019, Music

Cheap Queen (2019) by King Princess

I listened to her debut EP before I listened to this, even though I’m not normally in the habit of listening to EPs. (Though I’m listening to so many right now.)

I am aware of King Princess through some covers she did. I don’t really think they gave me a good idea of what she sounds like.

One of the songs really stands out – the horniest one – but most of the others I just forget. Am I right in thinking some of these are on her debut? (I guess that means I can remember some of them, sort of.)

Anyway, I can leave this alone. Doesn’t really do anything for me.

That’s basically how I feel about this record.

The songs are fine, I guess. Some of them are fairly catchy. I don’t think any are repeated from the EP, as I thought, but I think it’s notable that at least two of the EP songs are probably better than anything here (or nearly anything here). It’s interesting we’re back in the ’60s in the UK and you have to get the EPs and the LPs (ha) to hear everything your favourite artist puts out.

I think the big issue for me is the aesthetic. The songs fall somewhere on a spectrum between R&B and indie pop, a spectrum I’m not sure I knew existed, frankly. The indie pop-esque songs are not quirky enough for me. (Straus is a pretty conventional R&B singer, for one thing.) and the R&B songs aren’t weird or quirky enough in their own way. (There’s a lot of quirky R&B right now!) I sometimes feel like I’m just listening to restrained 21st century version of R&B (restrained in terms of the vocal noodling) and that doesn’t really do anything.

I think the production is fine. The record sounds fine. It just doesn’t move me at all. And knowing what I know now about the extent of interesting R&B being made in the teens, it feels like this is absolutely not a standout.


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