—review by Jesse Wiles (@thewildwiles)
It’s been a little over a year since Awful Record’s songstress Abra dropped off her impressive debut album Rose. Her first project back, the self-written and produced Princess, is six tracks long. Consisting of tinny, pop-synth vocals dripping in glam and a confidence that wasn’t as evident on past projects.
The tape begins with the short intro track “COME 4 ME,” which in the grand scheme of this project serves as nothing more than a vocal appetizer. Crooning about making money, spending it and making it all back. The production on the song is nice and simple, the bass moves along in unison with her delivery and fades into the next track, “VEGAS,” with ease.
“VEGAS” plays a lot like any number of songs off of Rose but is obviously more involved and technical than past releases. She taunts an unknown person who’s attempting to hit on her with lines like, “If you wanna roll the dice on me okay. If you think you can afford it, come play play.”
The following song, “CRYBABY,” finds Abra pleading with a lover who’s turned their back on her. It is obvious that she is hurting, lines like “You’re calling me a cry baby. But you’re making me cry.” and “Oh why are you so cold to me? Why you acting like we ain’t nothing?” Like a lot of her music, the repetitive, high pitched nature of the chorus and bridge of the song flirt with sounding overbearing. Her vocals are burdened by emotion while the beat is light and spacey, somehow creating harmonious dissonance. That borderline dissonance has become a staple of her music, and Awful Records as a whole.
Fellow Awful Records singer Tommy Genesis jumps on “BIG BOI,” the moderately lo-fi, female empowerment anthem. Abra and Genesis each drop a verse bashing the types of guys who constantly hit on them. Genesis ends her verse with “I could be a lot of things but I ain’t your girl,” while Abra talks about having “shooters in the cut” watching an oblivious guy who is buying her bottle after bottle trying to feel her up.
Things pick back up with “PULL UP,” a sparkly, upbeat song about the slippery slope that is love. Abra creates a catchy chorus that would sound perfectly natural coming straight out of your favorite rappers’ mouth.
Princess finds Abra all over the place emotionally. “CRY BABY” is a more submissive, emotional song while “BIG BOI” puts her in the driver's seat, full of confidence and aggression. The album comes to a close with her being pushed back into the depths of a relationship, giving herself up completely to someone else. “THINKING OF U” is her strongest vocal effort on the album. Her sultry delivery and the bouncy production create another conflicted mood that is easy to get lost in.
Abra continues to create a lane for herself in the world of pop music. Providing a winning combination of her dark, sensual aesthetic with high-BPM production. Only six tracks long, Princess is the perfect portrayal of who Abra is, all at once heartbroken, confident and hungry.