Friday, May 13th, 2022

Beabadoobee – Talk

Lay back…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: “Why’d you have to be so complicated?” Beabadoobee deadpans, almost exactly two decades after Avril Lavigne released her infectious debut single. (Beabadoobee was two years old when it was released.) I hate to speculate about the musical connections that went into making “Talk,” but I hear some of Avril’s grunge, I hear The 1975, I hear Green Day, and I hear a million other rock bands with boring white dudes leading them. Except: Beabadoobee is doing this way more interestingly than any of them ever did. She’s basically the Asian grunge girl I wish I had been when I was in high school. 

Micha Cavaseno: People desperately want to recapture the feeling of the music that occupied teen movie montages from the era when people wanted to go out and pay to see teen movies. I don’t know if you can find it in the songs themselves these days, especially if you remake them. So I hope someone encourages Beabadoobee to get away from making the sonic equivalent of early millennial adolescent comfort food, even if I’m mostly disinterested in her switching between various cliché pastiches for career phases. Can I blame the Adam Sandler film-twitter renaissance for this? Worth a shot.

Danilo Bortoli: Y2K nostalgia as saccharine noise pop. Also, shout out for leading me right back to the best Avril Lavigne song there is. It’s been a while. 

Thomas Inskeep: Is she lo-fi Lorde or grungy CRJ or a 2000s Liz Phair throwback? Whichever (or all of the above?), this is the best thing I’ve heard from her; solid, crunchy pop-rock reminiscent of strong ’90s college rock.

Tobi Tella: The pop punk revival is in full swing, with everyone from white rappers to Disney stars jumping on the bandwagon, so TikTok indie singers were the logical next step. The guitar plods along nicely and there is something to the contrast between it and Bea’s fairly soft vocals; it feels like the instrumental is saying everything the vocal line can’t. Unfortunately, too much of this feels cribbed from much better examples of the genre, from the clear “Complicated” reference to the idea of releasing something fierce and rollicking with a pretty ho-hum subject matter. Hayley Williams managed to make a quiet evening alone feel like a battle cry; going out on a Tuesday feels destined to be Instagram-captioned for a week before everyone forgets this exists.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The lyrics wink obviously at Avril Lavigne but everything else is much more modern in its styling — she takes the cleaned-up shoegaze of Jay Som and Soccer Mommy and shines it even further, leaving us with a song that is at once pristine and filled with fuzz. It never regains the energy of its first few seconds — the drums in particular dropping way down in the mix to the song’s detriment — but even at 75% energy Beabadoobee is a compelling performer, taking the uncertainty and longing of the lyrics and transfiguring them into a hazy sort of joy.

Nortey Dowuona: The fuzzy, shuddering guitar work by Jacob Bugden is the core of this song. Beabadoobee’s lyrics are pretty soft but tart — “a silhouette that’s in my head” — but not tart enough to stick out, just being swallowed up by the guitar, even with vocal doubling. Both the bass and drums are also nearly gobbled by the guitar, which takes up so much space in the mix that it nearly swallows Bea too. Thankfully, it’s vibrant and fun enough to carry the whole song itself — and the song is short.

Ian Mathers: It’s no “Last Day on Earth” but then neither was anything else on that EP. I still liked it, and I really like this more compact, aggro version of that basic sound too. In fact, this is absolutely the kind of thing I’d have been stoked to hear as an album track on one of the CDs I bought as a kid when that was the only way to find out what they actually sounded like, and I think it’s weird that I’m supposed to like it less just because a younger generation is doing it now.

Alfred Soto: OK if your system needs less fraught Sky Ferreira to function.

Reader average: [8.25] (4 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.