Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Beabadoobee – Last Day On Earth

So dance dance like it’s the last last day of your life life…


Alfred Soto: With Wild Nothings and Mazzy Star in its DNA, “Last Day on Earth” aspires to a heavenly reward but ends up wanly stuck on terra firma. The obscenities are a plus.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: If Beabadoobee hadn’t said “fuck” a couple of times, I could’ve easily mistaken this for something from The Princess Diaries‘ sound track, maybe faded up as Anne Hathaway walks to her school with her new hair hidden as Robert Schwartzman gazes longingly. Laus’s vocals pull off that perfect early 2000s disaffectedness, the chorused guitar hazy under “Amen” drums as she sings about doom, destruction, and just plain boredom, with a casual disregard cultivated by a year of rolling lockdowns. The layers of instruments seem to be lost in a noisy mix by the end, but the simplicity of the vocal line and scatted chorus complement the somewhat overstuffed instruments. Perhaps the simplicity itself is what speaks to me rather than a bombastic, dramatic take, Laus’s vocals and her and Healy’s lyrics bely numbness, complete with anesthetic guitars lifted from 2001.

Will Adams: The sepia-toned fuzz and windswept vocals are clearly geared toward the ’90s, but I also hear the brightness of lot of early ’00s John Shanks productions. It’s a comforting sound that’s only sweetened more by the upward bassline, the “doot-doo”‘s and the “yeah!”‘s. But then… it just keeps going, without any variation, and toward the end I’m looking at the clock.

Iain Mew: I grew up listening to music of the ’70s and ’80s before throwing myself totally into new music at the start of the millennium. Someone much younger than me reviving ’90s indie sounds as a going concern is inherently appealing because of that gap, because I experienced the aftermath of that era as current but never the thing itself. “Last Day On Earth” and its rolling wall of sighs and jangle is packed full enough of life to make it more about vitality than nostalgia (even as some of the verses lean more on The 1975 phrasing than ideal).

John Pinto: Songs are best when they’re brand-new. If you’ve ever written a song (or a poem, or a story, or told a joke that killed, or been a person at all) you know the scene: a few verses and a chorus scrawled on a legal pad/piece of scratch paper/pizza box, your instrument of choice still warm from your touch and cast aside on the bed/couch/floor, and you flouncing about in a state of semi-dressed bliss. Then you come back to your song a few hours later and realize you lifted the melody from a car insurance commercial and rhymed “funny things” with “funny things.” Your song has now gone from the best it will ever be to the worst it will ever be. Things might improve should you revise your song, but it will never again touch the world-ending power it had in the moments that followed its birth. The first post-Fake It Flowers release from Beabadoobee is a dramatization of this exact scenario, right down to it sounding a whole lot like a song that’s already been written. Besides the whole “looming pandemic/apocalypse” thing it’s a charmingly low-stakes singalong, all nonsense words and lines that seem to either pack too many syllables or stretch out too few. It’s a strong first draft about second chances.

Ian Mathers: This already sounded a bit like Hatchie covering “Walk on the Wild Side” (but in the spirit of positive nihilism, you know?) before the whole tape suddenly gets dunked in water and miraculously emerges out the other side unscathed, still freewheeling; and then Beabadoobee is interrupting her own chorus with “wait, I’ve got something to say” but no matter where the song goes that drum loop just churns away steadily. First thing I’ve heard in years that really evokes those times (seemingly mostly at night) where it really does seem like anything could happen or nothing could, right then or for the rest of your life.

Dorian Sinclair: For me, “Last Day On Earth” brings nothing to mind so strongly as the apocaly-pop of the early 2010s, and in particular Kesha’s “Shots on the Hood of My Car“. Both have a certain musical dreaminess that’s at odds with some of the sharper lyrical turns, and the metrical collapse and talky delivery in LDOE’s second verse are definitely of the same lineage as Kesha’s work. Existential dread in 2021 is a very different shape than a decade ago, though, and where Kesha faced the dark with a party, Beabadoobee turns inward. The simple candor of the verses is really effective, as is the way words fail entirely during the chorus. With relatively few words, she captures a mood I know well; seeing disaster around you and finding something to anchor yourself to as a way to ride through the storm. It’s bittersweet, but it’s beautiful, and I think that’s a knife’s edge a lot of us are used to riding these days.

Nortey Dowuona: The shaky, shining guitars and smushed drums obscure the crushed up bass that fades behind Beabadoobee’s soft voice, while a shaking bass echo follows her across the melting fringes, singing she do, bedoobedo, while the ice melts away. Bea crosses, the echoes multiplying but hanging back to not break the ice, then flying into the puddle formed at the bottom of the rocks, singing she do, she do, bedoobado.

Vikram Joseph: For the latest trick from her grab-box of ’90s nostalgia, Bea Kristi filters a Radio Song-adjacent chiming, arpeggiated riff through a Chocolate-covered lens to giddy, delirious effect. The spirit of her friends in The 1975 runs deeply through “Last Day On Earth”, but she’s channeling an iteration of them that we don’t hear too often these days — the freewheeling, bittersweet alt-pop that first won them a cult following in the grey dawn of the 2010s. That music can feel so exuberant and transportative while being ostensibly so lightweight is one of the great pop paradoxes — Kristi’s lyrics here might be self-reflexive semi-nonsense, but this is a thing of rare joy, made for strutting down city streets in the sun, drinking next to canals, hopping on trains and all the other things that are capable of lifting the weight from our lives.

Taylor Alatorre: An attempted shortcut to generational profundity through the counterfeiting of antique apathy. On the other hand, however, it must be admitted: shoop doo, shoop doo ba doobadoo. Pretty hard to disagree with that.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Beabadoobee – Last Day On Earth”

  1. have been in hell so didn’t get around to blurbing this but mostly I hear Leigh Nash (a really good thing)!