Music » Album Review

CD review: FKA Twigs' LP1

Young Turks; Release Date: Aug. 6, 2014



R&B this decade has undergone a revision to expand the net of what could be considered rhythm and blues. Thank The Weeknd, Frank Ocean or the spirit of Aaliyah for making R&B cool enough to get descriptors like "experimental" and "forward-thinking," I guess.

FKA Twigs, a former dancer, is a British singer who has been much hailed by music and fashion press for the immediate sense of persona from her early singles and EPs. LP1 holds up that end of the bargain by being a cohesive debut project taking the next step from those previous projects.

The moniker of R&B applied to FKA Twigs' music is wrong. The production is spacious and enveloping, which fits her voice that stretches across the space sometimes allowing words to be lost, but never behind the prevailing mood. The tone as expressed on the lead single "Two Weeks" and throughout the album is of a forceful longing and desire. A topic that the glacial sounds used through the album might obscure it for some, but for others offers a way into her world a more explicit take would differ.

LP1 embraces its sonic ephemerality but not at the cost of sexual desire. She mentioned in an interview that the tag of R&B was placed on her due to race rather than actual music — black artists must make "black" music, right?! But she's right to push against this label, because LP1 hits closer to the electronic experiments of singers Grimes and Julianna Barwick than Top 40 radio and now that it's out, maybe word-makers will properly recognize this fact.

Add a comment