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KUMD Album Review: FKA Twigs-MAGDALENE

Album cover featuring the head and shoulders of a woman

In her third studio album, FKA Twigs proves her ability to hold her own among the greats of her generation. Twigs built a following with her LP1 and LP2 album releases. On MAGDALENE, she improves upon all her genre-bending abilities, delivering a polished and cohesive effort.

From beginning to end, the South London native provides eerie yet comforting vocals. From the Gregorian chant-inspired "Thousand Eyes," to the striking falsettos of "Cellophane," FKA Twigs provides multitudes of moody expressions. The most impressive aspect of MAGDALENE is its vast soundscape. The futuristic electronic elements, perfectly deepened reverb, and layered vocals give the feeling of an ancient spell, echoing from the mountaintops.

The singer/songwriter was not alone in cultivating this unique sound  Co-producers like Benny Blanco (prod. Rihanna, Sia, The Weeknd), and Michael Uzowuru (prod. Frank Ocean, Beyonce, Earl Sweatshirt), offer their impressive knowledge of contemporary pop and R&B to make every track sultry, yet catchy. In a surprising pairing, production by Skrillex, adds the overdriven energy that dubstep is known for, without veering into kitschy, 2008-era nostalgia.

FKA's performance on this album is transformative. She starts the album like a butterfly, with vocals so delicate that one is forced to lean in close to fully appreciate them. Proving her dynamic ability, she eventually soars over instrumentals with the boistrous confidence of a peregrine falcon. She is able to flow seamlessly between understated and in-your-face. This flexibility is apparent through the striking amount of genres that are effectively exhibited; with influences ranging from avante garde, to opera, to  neo-soul to dirty-sprite era trap, this album has everything.

FKA Twigs is an artist whose songwriting ability and genre-bending style will push her to become a household name. Any listener would be encouraged to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.

Try this album if you like: Solange, Blood Orange, Nils Frahm, Erykah Badu


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