FKA Twigs
M3LL155X


4.0
excellent

Review

by davidwave4 USER (55 Reviews)
August 19th, 2015 | 148 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: To my mind it's so sweet/And I wish you could see it

Last year, when I reviewed FKA twigs' debut LP ("LP1"), I noted that her music struck an innovative balance between near-violent narratives of relational problems and ear-turning production. "EP2" alluded to her ability to write truly heart-breaking and engaging songs. Now, with "M3LL155X," twigs has finally perfected her formula. She's refined her message, codified her production, and brought her own voice--both literally and figuratively--to the front.

One of the main things of note concerning this EP is just how in-control and dominant twigs sounds on this release. Prior releases, especially "EP2," emphasized her fragility, placing more focus on twigs as a sexual figure than as a strong and self-actualized woman. Some of the lyrics on songs like "Papi Pacify" and "How's That" were self-effacing to a fault, placing masculine gratification and pleasure at the center of a web of abuse. "LP1" widened the scale of this message, showing the full-scope of twigs' tumult. Songs like "Pendulum" and "Numbers" gave credence to just how hard she tried to make it all work while songs like "Two Weeks," while on the surface showcasing a new and bold twigs, were littered with cues and references to just how much of a fallacy the whole thing was, with twigs still ultimately pleading for love and attention in the end.

"M3LL155X" skirts this dynamic almost entirely. On songs like "in time" and "Glass & Patron," twigs is the aggressor, singing forceful lines like "you've got a goddamn nerve" and "in time/you'll be doin' me right." This new forcefulness, this new assertion of dominance, fares extraordinarily well for twigs, as the songwriting is the true show of evolution here. While some of the lines on "LP1" were clunky and unnecessarily dour and pleading, this new EP really shows her deft new hand at penning lyrics. The themes of the EP concern feminine energy and independence, and the way that they're dealt with can only be described as masterful. Twigs never falls on flat platitudes or cliches when addressing certain aspects of her identity or the relationships she has. She never throws out bold pseudo-feminist proclamations of like some of her contemporaries do in an attempt to play up her progressive ideals. She shows rather than tells, and does so almost as well as the masters (the Fiona Apples and Bjorks of the world). Part of this may be thanks to Boots, Beyonce's songwriter of choice for her latest effort, but the sonic and lyrical cohesion here can only be attributed to twigs herself.

And the sonics here are quite impressive. Never before have twigs' drums hit as hard or the synths cut as deep as on this EP. "Mothercreep" lurches into focus with a pulse-like bassline and synths that could out-drone Tim Hecker. The drums skitter and punch with an urgency that calls to mind both UK grime and bass music as well as current Southern US trap and "Stankonia" era hip-hop. "in time" mixes one of twigs' most sensual melodies with some of her harshest and most menacing drum production, while "Glass & Patron" stands as one of her most unpredictable and experimental tracks. EP opener "Figure 8" and "I'm Your Doll" mix sexuality and horror in a way that make The Weeknd's horror-indebted "Kiss Land" sound like a Taylor Swift b-side.

Looking at all of this, it's safe to say that M3LL155X stands as the most complete and compelling representation of twigs' talent, as well as the continual emotive potential of avant-garde electronica, to be released this year. She's effectively channeled her essence into something essential, something that should be recognized by all as at least pivotal in the development of this continued intersection of singer-songwriters and electronic producers. If you're still trumpeting the "post-dubstep" label that popped up in 2011, it's safe to say that M3LL155X stands as perhaps the most pivotal release to mark that subgenre in the last couple of years.

For lovers of hip-hop and electronic music, 2015 has been an almost unbearably good year. While others have chosen to mine the past to pull together their magnus opuses, twigs' does something that no one else in 2015 has done: make music distinctly futuristic, both in ideology and in sound.



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user ratings (401)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
August 19th 2015


37226 Comments


for real?

Gyromania
August 19th 2015


37226 Comments


if lp1 wore off me fast would i be interested in this? the only song that really hit me hard on that album was pendulum. i thought two weeks and some of the other singles were really overrated.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2015


32288 Comments


This is a good review, but no where in it do you make a justified case for the EP being a 5. Especially given that it has just come out

Lord(e)Po)))ts
August 19th 2015


70254 Comments


lmfao 5/5

RadicalEd
August 19th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pitchfork would hire this guy.

Gyromania
August 19th 2015


37226 Comments


it's a great review but idk about that, ed.

PappyMason
August 19th 2015


5702 Comments


This is actually a real good review, a great read. I agree with Dev's reservations though.

The only songs that I cared for were 'In Time' and 'Glass & Patron' - those were the only times that I felt she achieved something tangible. Nevertheless, I haven't listened to this in a few days so I'll save any critiques of it until later.

RadicalEd
August 19th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"it's a great review but idk about that, ed. "



Not because the review is THAT good that he can become a professional writer on the back of it. (Although it is quite good and I'm not convinced that P4k reviews are necessarily good. Most of the times I try to read a review on that site I give up after two paragraphs of longwindend fancy words about nothing much.)



Just because P4k is blowing their collective load over everything that FKA Twigs releases.

Keyblade
August 19th 2015


30678 Comments


so boring

tempest--
August 19th 2015


20634 Comments


rly good review, gonna check this when I finish work tonight.

adr
August 19th 2015


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the last 3 songs are mesmerizing~

Gyromania
August 19th 2015


37226 Comments


ed: oh, had no idea pitchfork liked her so much.

watched the music video for this ep and it's hilariously awful

wtferrothorn
August 19th 2015


5849 Comments


so boring [2]

ParanoidAndroid96
August 19th 2015


1393 Comments


might check this, thought LP1 was ight. the production was way better than her vocal performances on the album, hoping that changes on this

rabidfish
August 19th 2015


8740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

LOL no

JeetJeet
August 19th 2015


12301 Comments


heard one of this chick's songs on an episode of Mr. Robot. Twas good.

Rubvo
August 19th 2015


31 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

after one listen i'd say it's good. but for lp1 it took a while to realize how great of an album that was. so let's wait and listen.

BrushedRed
August 19th 2015


3570 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

A 5?! I mean LP1 wasn't even that good.. But this is worse. I don't see the appeal of this singer.



Also continuing with the weird/atrocious album art I see

bakkermaarten007
August 19th 2015


5285 Comments


I remember her sound being this overly forced, trying to be seductive.
Idk, I feel like lots of positive critique is based on the overall image she elicits through her music and appearance.
Pop musikz eehhh

PappyMason
August 19th 2015


5702 Comments


Anyone heard Kelela's Cut 4 Me tape from 2013? Now that is really well done.



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