Monday, 15 December 2014

Albums of the Year 2014 #8 FKA Twigs - LP 1

Following two excellent debut Eps, LP1’s release found a host of music reviewers stumbling over themselves to lavish praise on it and then unsurprisingly it got the nod as a Mercury Prize nominee, although it failed to win. However for those who think that FKA Twigs was just the fashionable flavour of the month think again, for this record stands tall on its own merits and has sneakily invaded our listening space ever increasingly since its release.

What’s a little surprising is that none of the tracks from those 2 first EP’s are featured on the album, which given that a typical artist's debut long-player these days is nothing more than a collection of the first four or five singles and a few filler tracks, is impressive.

Tahliah Barnett’s (aka FKA Twigs) musical palette encompasses various shades of ever-shifting rhythms and warped electronic sounds, sometimes created by sampling and then manipulating other instruments. It bears some similarity to the sonic experimentation of albums by the likes of Bjork, Tricky and The Knife but with a nearly whispered and sensually-charged approach. It’s unsettling, not always accessible and those looking for traditional songs will be in the main sorely disappointed. However, it isn’t as revolutionary as you might expect given some of the hype that has been laid at her feet; in many ways LP1 is just one slightly more leftfield step away from much of today’s edgier contemporary pop.  

For those who want something that takes a little longer to get the head around, LP 1 offers much to enjoy and ponder over. From the opening Preface where she quotes from Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem I Find no Peace: “I love another, and thus I hate myself,” to the closing Kicks where she sings of how she’s quite happy with masturbation over sex LP1 is a fluid, uneasy and languidly erotic body of work that's worth spending some time with.

FKA Twigs - Two Weeks

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