Azealia Banks Drops New Album - Is She Actually Worth Remembering?
She's finally dropped her debut, but should we actually care?
You'd be forgiven for forgetting about Azealia Banks. She was the one who made this big, rude pop song that everybody fell in love with, the one with so many expletives it turned into an instrumental when played before 9pm on the radio.
In the aftermath of 212 Azealia proceeded to ride a horse so high that she fell off and got dragged underneath, leaving a trail of cancelled gigs, irritated fans and bad press behind her. She promised an album, but disputes with her label, her fans, her peers (Lily Allen and Disclosure included) led to ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ becoming more of a myth than one of the most anticipated debuts of this decade.
Now she’s parted with her label, Yung Rapunxel has just dropped the album, with little to no warning. The title remains the same, but the songs? They’re good. Actually really good. Whether they’re good enough to make people care again is another matter, but for what it’s worth, Azealia’s talents don’t lie solely in winding people up on Twitter.
In some ways Broke With Expensive Taste listens like a memoir of every big musical fad of the last five years- there's garage, trap, and a bit of almost savoury EDM style pan handling on it. The dust needs to settle on exactly what's been going on with this album since we all forgot about Azaelia Banks, but for now, here are the instant stand outs.
Gimme A Chance- Really hella sexy Spanish rapping. WTF’s she on about? Does it even matter?
Desperado- You sure you fell out with Disclosure B? Desperado opens like a garage track in its turn of the century hey day, but the feminine coos so archetypal to the genre have been ripped out and replaced. Desperado is some sort of hybrid phoenix, one that would have no doubt soared over the garage pop revival of last summer if BWET had been released in time.
Heavy Metal And Reflective- When released as a stand alone track with a video, HMAR was kind of regarded as Azealia’s finger nails ripping off as she tried to claw her way out of the pit of desperation. Now, in the context of the album, it makes infinitely more sense. Industrial production and a beat that channels Run The World, this is as close to Banks trying Beyonce on for size as we're likely to see.
BBK- Idling, insidious flow over Baauer style production. BBK is Harlem Shake’s naughty cousin, dressed in a fur coat with definitely no knickers on.
Soda- Every Crystal Waters comparison comes full circle. Lazy 90s house beat, smooth lyrics, cherry poppin lyrics. This is club tropicana via Harlem and it's adorable.
By: Tamara Roper