Clairo: Immunity (FADER Label) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, September 26th, 2022  

Clairo

Immunity

FADER Label

Aug 05, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


In barely two years, Internet ingénue Claire Cottrill (aka Clairo) has graduated from the homemade and adorable “Pretty Girl” video that went viral, plus “Flaming Hot Cheetos”a song that compares the confusion of a schoolgirl crush to the guilty pleasure of junk foodto release this polished debut. It is co-helmed by producer extraordinaire Rostam Batmanglij and even features Danielle Haim on drums in several tracks.

A bit of gestation might have led to more experimentation and vivid colors in an album with a handful of standouts but also tracks that tend to bleed indistinguishably into each other. Auto-Tuned vocals on “Closer to You” are tired and don’t quite gel. The use of a ramshackle chorus of young children repeating: “I don’t care what they say” unceasingly at the end of “Softly” might have been the point but it only ingratiates. And they return again on the closer.

Still the songs that do deliver are memorable. Opener “Alewife,” named after a train stop near her home, tells of the sobering time a friend saved her from a suicide attempt. She shrugs any melodrama off with “But you know I’ll be alright/Eighth grade was never that tight.” “Impossible” follows and there’s a glowing sense that the girl is blessed with a knack for melodies that get you in the pit of the stomach. A perfectly formed pop song, it features percussive elements that weight her airy vocalsflourishes on guitar and bass, the stuff that Batmanglij is a master at, add filigree and warmth. There’s a Sunday service majesty to it; from the faint echoes of a heavenly chorus and the organ work of Chicago-native Peter Cottontale, who normally plays with Chance The Rapper.

“Sofia” is another standout for its absolute vulnerability; it tackles a youngster pushing to figure out her sexuality with another despite the awkwardness. The fact that the 20-year-old has claimed co-producing rights in an industry that still isn’t keen to cede full creative control to women goes a long way to prove her mettle and bodes well for her future pursuits. (www.clairo.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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