Album Audit is a weekly Interns feature, recapping and reviewing the album releases of the week with a cheeky score out of five.
Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
Album Of The Week
British newbie and the most likely to claim the pop throne in the future Dua Lipa has finally dropped her debut album. It’s a year late, suffering multiple setbacks that may have diminished its relevancy but it’s here and it’s a mighty pop effort. We’ve already heard a massive five tracks and while they will probably remain the biggest singles off the album, there are some very strong tracks on here. Opener Genesis capitalises on her raspy, warm vocals while IDGAFS is an Ed Sheeran-leaning, f**k off anthem that succeeds because of Lipa’s genuinely huge personality.
There’s nothing on this album that’s going to change the course of pop music but every track wins, using a smorgasbord of pop’s current trends. New Rules combines dancehall with a Lean On-esque drop, Begging dips into the ’80s for inspiration and Homesick uses Chris Martin’s palette of beige. All these songs would sound limp at the hand of a less impressive new popstar, but Lipa carries each across the line. She’s got a natural allure that makes it impossible to dislike any of these. If she proves herself on this one, she may get the chance to truly explore her niche on record number two. 3.5/5
Dua Lipa is out this Friday, 2nd June.
Lil Yachty – Teenage Emotions
Lil Yachty‘s Teenage Emotions is by far the most divisive album of the year and that’s because it’s impossible to label it. People are still trying to figure out exactly what Yachty is and this album won’t bring you any closer to settling on that. It’s an album for the “youth” and while it doesn’t promote minorities and diversity as much as the cover would expect, it’s the kind of unfiltered release you’d expect from a 19 year-old. At 22 songs, it’s way too long. It’s a marathon to get through and it’s also the least cohesive record of the year.
That said, you should treat Teenage Emotions like More Life, as a playlist. If you’re a Lil Uzi Vert/Migos fan head for more hip-hop heavy tracks like Peak A Boo or All Around Me, if you’re a pop fan the Diplo-produced Forever Young will please and if you’re more for Yachty’s quirky cuts the wooziness of Lady In Yellow and No More. It jumps genres faster than your Spotify playlist and maybe that’s the genius of it. It’s a direct representation of people’s listening habits.
There are going to be vocal haters of this record but, to paraphrase Yachty, everyone needs to “chill”. Apart from unnecessary misogynistic lyrics, which point to Yachty’s immaturity and can go straight in the bin, this is a harmless release. It’s goofy, fun and erratic. He’s not a messiah for the youth but he’s a representation of how to market to the youth – one that many brands would love to tap into. 3.5/5
Bryson Tiller – True To Self
You’re either a cult fan of Bryson Tiller‘s debut TRAPSOUL or you’re not interested. I fall into the latter category but I have caved into the hype and really attempt to dig into it in order to understand the follow-up True To Self. Tiller aims for Trilogy-esque, PARTYNEXTDOOR-lite soul and nails it at points but ultimately falls short here because of a lack of variation. Like Yachty’s album, True To Self is way too long but where Yachty darts through genres, Tiller stays on the same line. The first eight songs basically rely on trap beats that don’t live up to their potential because of Tiller’s inability to deliver a truly memorable hook. It’s not ’til Run Me Dry that we’re given something different and even then its minimal dancehall that’s not delivered with the same effortlessness as say PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Not Nice.
There’s definitely worth in Tiller’s music. With The Weeknd and PARTYNEXTDOOR venturing further into the commercial space, it’s nice to hear an artist stick to the late night aesthetic. When he’s going hard, like the bars on Money Problems/Benz Truck or the icy flow on Blowing Smoke, it’s memorable but those moments ultimately get consumed by surrounding monotony. Ultimately, there needs to be less music and more moments to latch onto. 2.5/5
Mabel – Bedroom EP
Mabel released three excellent songs in a row but she stumbled on her dancehall-flavoured released Finders Keepers which just didn’t dig far enough. That’s the lead-single off her first EP Bedroom which feels a little stylistically lost. Electro-pop seems to be the vibe she’s going for here but the issue with that is it mutes the potential power of each song. The title track is a lyrically aggressive cut but that doesn’t translate to the vocal delivery while Ride Or Die goes for late night edginess but sounds too polite. Closer Talk About Forever is a cute pop song but the production fails her, which is basically the issue with the whole EP. While early cuts Know Me Better and Thinking Of You had an organic, hip-hop style of production, these tracks use washy electronica and the result is just too diluted. 2.5/5