The art of FKA Twigs is like a well-done magic trick – it completely hypnotizes you and it takes you a while to process what you have just witnessed. The artist has tamed a genre of her own which I am quite sure no one else can operate in.
I personally think what she is doing is something we desperately need in the oversaturated music scene nowadays – a completely different and unique approach towards music. Blending numerous influences including hip-hop, electronic, classical, and a cappella amongst others with her own touch and mesmerizing choreographies is probably one of the most distinctive styles you have seen in a while.
She could easily sweep a major role in Pirates Of The Caribbean, couldn’t she?
Tahliah Barnett has been involved in the field of music from a young age making her first steps with ballet. She has gradually turned into one of the most sought after dancers appearing in videos of Taio Cruz, Ed Sheeran, and Jessie J amongst to name a few.
Apart from a good way to test the waters of the music industry this background definitely helped Twigs create her stunning style and amazing choreography. Her music videos are an example of well-expressed, touching art on a level that is hard to achieve.
Starting to direct, produce, and compose Twigs would easily become one of the artists leaving their mark on the music scene with conceptual pieces taken to another level. Her latest album MAGDALENE is the perfect example of this.
It’s not just music, we are talking conceptual performaces here
I find it remarkable that the artist is able to express herself so well by incorporating fragmented lyrics united with diverse sonic elements. Everyday noises are blended in with her gallant singing and futuristic electronic elements with unexpected twists are present to create a new style which few can make appealing.
MAGDALENE is only the second full-length by Twigs but there is a clear maturing and refinement of concepts visible in the record compared to her earlier work. It’s a trippy ride you don’t want to miss.
FKA Twigs brings something new and exciting to the scene, out of the ordinary even. A short but worthwhile album MAGDALENE is packed with unique energy, futuristic sounds, empowering statements, and genuine emotion.
The album is a wild ride with a clear and well-expressed concept which unites some of the most personal motives in the artist’s repertoire. It draws inspiration from the misinterpreted story of Mary Magdalene and uses it as a foundation of exploring the two sides of being a woman in the modern world.
MAGDALENE is one of Twigs’ most powerful records yet beautifully displaying her sensitivity, emotions, and struggles while clinging to hope for a better tomorrow. It is packed with unexpected twists and as usual, contains a stunning combination of musical and vocal elements which together with its powerful concept make it one of the most needed records of 2019.
The virgin and the whore – Magdalene to me represents both of those things as an archetype. As a woman, I can be, innocent and pure and fresh, and I can also be, dangerous and all-knowing and seductive and powerful, and these things can happen at the same time. In modern-day society, women are often put in a position where we have to choose one, and that’s a shame. We’re the most powerful women, we can be both.
The deeper you get into the song the better and more impressive it gets with nitpicky details in its concept and stunning minor elements making it sound super refreshing
MAGDALENE starts with a song that might as well be the best possible album intro this year.
Fragmented lyrics with lots of repetition (typical for the entire record) have a warning tone towards the irreversible effects which are to follow after a separation. The song is a perfect example of the capabilities FKA Twigs has as it smoothly goes through a ballet-inspired atmosphere, operatic singing, a cappella, choir-like elements, electronics with apocalyptic vibes, and futuristic twists during the breaks. To make it even more impressive all the vocals are produced strictly by Twigs herself.
It’s almost insane how a song can be packed with so many different elements and yet sound so coherent and consistent making an extremely powerful start of a record which only gets better with each song.
Emotions and moods switch often to go through the themes of separation, change, fear, acceptance, and out-of-this-world metamorphosis which is to follow.
Sometimes it’s just easier to say exactly how you feel, so instead of like making up a problem here or making up a problem there if you just say like, “Hey. I’m lonely like do you want to just come and hang out?”
The intro of the album smoothly flows into track number two – Home With You. The song is one of the most personal and emotion-invoking ones Twigs has produced and is packed with her experience, pain, and learned lessons – all incorporated in a beautiful and sensible way.
It goes through the artist’s struggles with the uterus surgery she had to endure, how it affected her confidence, and how she learned to cope with the pain. Naturally, this experience has led to other unpleasant events which Twigs dwells into deeper and deeper until she makes listeners completely immersed into her feelings and thoughts. An admirable effect which not many can achieve, however, Twigs does that easily by utilizing her unique music style and perfectly consistent conceptual storytelling.
The song is extremely down-to-earth and eye-opening unveiling something so delicate and sensitive as a topic yet so relevant and necessary.
Musically Home With You is equally impressive – starting with an emotional piano ballad with distorted vocal elements progressing into beautiful a cappella singing and ending with an impactful cello instrumental. The track is going places in the best possible way.
Track number three on MAGDALENE fits into the creative mess of beautiful singing, unexpected electronic twists, futuristic beats, and distorted effects. All of this enhances the experience and makes the song even more of a wild ride.
Hypnotizing and emotionally resonating Sad Day tells a story about the end of a relationship packed with pain – hurting the person you love and knowing that there is no going back once this has been done. Second chances are pointless and finding the strength to let go and move on is the only option – all of this is perfectly illustrated by Twigs’ fragmented poetry.
Overwhelmingly sad and melancholic since the first tone Sad Day keeps getting more real and relatable with each second reaching its peak in the bridge which Twigs’ herself defines as the saddest part of the record.
Holy Terrain – a stunning collaboration with hip-hop act Future gracefully turns the other side of the sadness explored in Sad Day.
The song presents interesting storytelling told with captivating hip-hop elements added to the trademarked FKA Twigs sound. A story about someone looking to receive the love she deserves and a person rebuilding himself and proving worthy of love – if this is not beautifully dramatic and sensual I don’t know what is.
Ambient and elevating the title track of the album is one of the strongest women empowerment songs I have heard in a while.
The reasons for this include the cleaver and well-presented concept built upon the historical figure of Marry Magdalene as well as the stunning vocals and hypnotizing breaks in the song.
The song is bold, true, and an ascending reminder of the power, necessity, and beauty of women – something our society needs to hear every once in a while.
Fallen Alien goes back to the relationship-oriented thematic and incorporates angry notes as well as tones of confusion which finally elevate to pure determination. Some Florence + The Machine vibes can be noted if you try hard enough but the uniqueness of FKA Twigs is present 100%.
Sadness and melancholy are quickly brought back with Mirrored Heart. The song is a painfully accurate expression of loneliness and the inability to find the right person to share your life with.
Twigs expresses her hurt caused by the people who have engaged in a relationship with her but never intended to be serious in such a way which makes you feel personally damaged – the sharing of emotions is on another level.
The track has a hopeful undertone sating that Twigs will never lose faith until she finds her mirrored heart – an inspiring representation of her strong will and endurance which listeners can only learn from.
Daybed is filled with illustrative examples from start to end – a dreamy, dizzy, fragmented depiction of depression, the song is just as powerful as the rest of the album tracks.
Hinging on small details and finding the devastating chaos which life has turned into the song radiates emotion. Each and every line is a comparison which makes the song extremely interesting to listen to united with the futuristic sound and trippy beats which contribute to the depiction of the phenomenon explored.
An example of the supreme choreographical skills of FKA Twigs – the artist also spent a year learning to pole dance in order to bring her idea to life herself
Cellophane is the finishing touch of the album – vivid and perfectly executed tale of self-love and acceptance for which the artist prepared over a year mastering pole-dancing and perfecting her choreography.
Leaving listeners and views in awe the song also serves as a strong, emotional reminder for the importance of perseverance and personal growth.
As MAGDALENE is representative of Twigs‘ physical, mental and emotional recovery, her very human traits of overthinking, anguish and insecurity arise in these lines
Visuals are another one of FKA Twigs‘ strong points. This is the album art for her EP M3LL155X
FKA Twigs is one of the artists I cannot help but admire. I just sit and watch her express her art in a way I haven’t seen before in awe of how accurate she is able to transmit messages and emotions.
Trying to define a genre for her music is pointless – she goes through so many styles the only way to categorize her art is FKA Twigs. And I truly believe she is an artist in her own caliber – bringing something extremely different but so impactful and effective it would be a shame if she wasn’t around.
MAGDALENE is just another example of what the artist is capable of – a refreshing collection of songs united under a powerful concept which we can learn a lot from if we look and listen closely. I think we should at least try.
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