Monday, August 17, 2015

FKA Twigs - M3LL155X Review

For a five-track EP, M3LL155X, is profoundly dense. FKA Twigs, current Art Pop connoisseur, surprise released M3LL155X as a means to express her inner turmoil, her feminine energy, her pent-up frustrations towards common aggregators. To those who’ve been following her rise, including the boisterous LP1, hearing just now that she’s liberating her female energy is quite a shock, but one that, upon hearing this EP, is no overstatement. In under 20 minutes, Twigs weaves a riveting path through sexual politics that forces the uneasy nature of misogyny directly into the listeners ears. Whether that arrives in the form of an absent father, a sex-crazed sex doll addict, or a empowering chance to parlay in Vogue, Twigs leaves no room for undertones. The accompanying music video for M3LL155X, one that crams four different movements avoiding the album closer ‘Mothercreep,’ is uncomfortably vivid, and despite the abstract nature of the songs and styles, reliant on an encompassing statement of a male-dominated society. All I’ve discussed thus far focuses on Twigs herself, the voice, the lyrics, the woman, and not the production, which, at its most controlling, is Twigs’ most explosive to date, choosing to further intersect Pop with an alarming amount of Experimentation, a affirmation that her sound won’t fall to mainstream standards.

One could deduce, upon easy inspection, FKA Twigs as being a spiritual successor in sound and style to Bjork. Both artists, one a tenured legend, the other an up-and-comer, have now both released fanciful albums in 2015 on the subject of vulnerability. For Bjork it was the endurance of a messy divorce slathered in emotive dissonance, for Twigs it’s the publics perception of her existence, most notably known as Robert Pattinson’s fling. This endless amalgamate with the opposite sex, no matter how explementary her talent rises, has caused Melissa, the female energy growing inside her, to break out with a ferocious stomp. ‘Figure 8,’ the EP’s opening track, expresses itself in a similar fashion to Bjork’s ‘Family,’ off Vulnicura, as a brooding bass overtakes unorthodox tones battling with each other. Elsewhere, Twigs continues to be in your face, with the biggest case for that existing on ‘In Time,’ where a Trap-flavored beat discombobulates behind her as Twigs’ voice takes on a slightly auto-tuned tinge. On ‘Glass & Patron,’ Drum N’ Bass encompasses the song, with some odd textures thrown in, including Twigs’ own moderately spurred voice that glitches and fluctuates with the bass.

There’s a chance, when the dust of M3LL155X settles, that Twigs’ latest EP will be known as her most defiant, evocative, forward-thinking, and complete work to date. Despite LP1’s sometimes massive moments, the power of a full work forced it to lull at times, giving M3LL155X the advantage of being accepted by brute, aggressive force. This is FKA Twigs stepping into her own, becoming whole, dominating not just stylistically, but sonically and lyrically as well. Whereas her earlier EP’s squeaked by in the details of her minimalist sounds and fragile voice, this work does the same but with more intrusive tonality, the minimalism is done with striking instrumentation, the fragility done as a means to show vulnerability while also expressing a more audacious design. As ‘Mothercreep’ distressingly wears down, breaking apart alongside Twigs’ complacent affirmation that “I’ll be there soon,” the EP abruptly cuts off, ending the paradoxical assault between Twigs’ inner-most sincere femininity and her outwardly expressing dominance that she fosters. 

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