FKA twigs: CAPRISONGS (Young/Atlantic) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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FKA twigs

CAPRISONGS

Young/Atlantic

Feb 04, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


FKA twigs has come back to herself. Her critically acclaimed sophomore album, MAGDALENE, seemed to break something in her—the pain she endured from fibroid tumors in her uterus inspired much of the record, as did her very public breakup with actor Robert Pattinson. Largely removed from the cavernous, reverb-soaked shadow worlds of LP1 and EP2, MAGDALENE was melancholic and seething, her palpable pain grounding the album in a darker, heavier reality.

“In the first lockdown,” twigs wrote on Instagram on the day of her new mixtape’s release, “I called my team hinting that maybe I had hit the end of the road making music and putting my insides on blast how I have done for the last few years.” But within the confines of the pandemic, she found comfort in the simplicity of searching for connection. The crafting of the mixtape CAPRISONGS renewed her sense of confidence and interconnectedness, allowing her to feel comfortable inside the act of making music again. (Or, as she cheekily croons on opening track “ride the dragon”: “I’m still that mysterious bitch”).

CAPRISONGS’ sound is far removed from the otherworldly, gothic choir vocals of LP1 and the wrenching wails of MAGDALENE. Instead, it offers an alternate universe twigs more indebted to hip-hop, her glassy soprano floating atop skittering trap beats and shimmery synth loops. These songs feel buoyant—not lacking in depth, but lifting from the ground with the slightest touch. Twigs’ character, too, is far from the coquettish seductress or the sidelined woman. On CAPRISONGS, she allows her real life to supplant the fabricated worlds of prior offerings. More importantly, she allows joy and sincerity to filter in.

Laughter and recorded conversation permeate much of the space between tracks, like the impish “oh my love” or the glitched out “track girl interlude” where twigs’ friends laugh about their frequently abysmal taste in men. “If you are lonely…you can borrow my friends on the mixtape,” twigs wrote in her post. Out of the tape’s 17 tracks, seven (not including interludes) include features—The Weeknd, Jorja Smith, and Nigerian rapper/singer Rema make appearances, as well as Daniel Caesar, whose sweet, lilting voice complements twigs’ stacked harmonies on the vulnerable ballad “careless.”

The mixtape’s most affecting moment comes at its end, on the lush, Arca-produced “thank you song.” “I wanted to die/I’m just being honest,” twigs confesses. “No longer afraid/To say it out loud.” The song provides the context for CAPRISONGS—brutally transparent and openly grateful. Both a loving nod to her musical past and a look to the future, “thank you song” is an exquisite conclusion.

The designation of “mixtape” provides a curious framework for a musician who is known for being exacting and meticulous in every aspect of her art, from aesthetic to sound. But the structure, or perhaps the lack thereof, provides twigs with a new, more open playground. Many of the songs barely exceed the three-minute mark, granting the mixtape an intentionally fragmental quality where the vision is still vivid, but looser. If MAGDALENE was an encapsulation of FKA twigs’ internal storm, CAPRISONGS is the sunrise after the fact, brilliant and vibrant as ever. (www.fkatwigsofficial.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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