Princess Nokia
A Girl Cried Red


3.5
great

Review

by BlushfulHippocrene STAFF
May 24th, 2018 | 19 replies


Release Date: 04/14/2018 | Tracklist


On the one hand, it’d feel condescending of me to label this tape “dumb fun”. The inclusion of “cute” wouldn’t help, nor “shallow”. God knows how earnest Destiny Frasqueri’s being when she smothers lines like “little angel, what more else can I do?” So the parody argument doesn’t do it for me. After all, Princess Nokia has always had an amateurish charm about her. And this – like 1992 – feels more pastiche than parody: an homage to Peep perhaps, though more likely his influences.

Still, A Girl Cried Red is with little doubt a departure for Princess Nokia. Where on 1992, she spat over piano-sprinkled boom bap, worshipping the New York of the ‘90s, here she stacks vocoded crooning atop bubbling synths and hi-hat triplets, bastardising the emo and indie rock of the same era. Consequently, we hear two extremes at play. On ‘Look Up Kid’ – the tape’s unabashed pop rock banger – Frasqueri finds herself harmonising over buried guitars and a shallow kick that propels the track, as an organ sound wobbles about, unsure of itself. An interlude of thinly-plucked guitars follows, fading into album highlight ‘Morphine’, which pursues a trend of emo- and trap-influenced r&b, the latter of these extremes.

It’s unsurprising that Nokia does angst rap so well. Behind – or indeed, at the forefront of – her incessant fronting on 1992 was a wealth of insecurity. Which isn’t to condescend. There’s something deeply intriguing and genuinely endearing about the bipolarity of Princess Nokia. Upon its release, however, I recall reading a comment asserting, with an admirable certainty, that A Girl Cried Red was an intentional parody of the current state of mainstream hip hop: dominated by self-indulgent sadness, all the while incapable of escaping its shallow dick-measuring. Whoever wrote that was wrong, I think – A Girl Cried Red is something more like a pastiche of Frasqueri’s youth – but I sympathise with the sentiment: there is a self-indulgence here that’s a little hard to swallow.

But A Girl Cried Red does sound authentic. It’s authentic in that, despite a conscious effort to depart from her usual style, Princess Nokia sounds as much like herself as ever. And at the centre of that authenticity lies something profoundly impassioned – something I find hard not to latch onto.



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user ratings (40)
2.4
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2018


3406 Comments


this is so so so good blush, stop writing so gud
ep is dope

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2018


11741 Comments


Great review my man, will check

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Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2018


24958 Comments


wow incredibly concise and clear review Blush, this writing style rly feels like your "pocket" form, well done my dude. this sounds more appealing than what I've previously heard by her so I'll def peep.

one quick (v v minor) suggestion: "An interlude of thinly-plucked guitars follows, fading into album highlight ‘Morphine’, which follows a..." -- I'd maybe switch out the second follows with "pursues" or some other synonym.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2018


16944 Comments


Beautiful stuff as always man, the length makes the intellectuality of it more digestible ;)
Looking forward to giving it a listen!

TheSpaceMan
May 24th 2018


12344 Comments


ace review blush, that third paragraph was articulated perfectly

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2018


3056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the kind words, friends, much-appreciated. (:

And good catch Connor! I suck at proofing my own work, didn't even realise I repeated myself there, so thank you. < 3

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robertsona
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2018


17480 Comments


great review

ZombieToyDuck
May 24th 2018


7076 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is really excellent blush, easy pos. However, I was heavily disappointed by this one... Her last album was leaps and bounds more ambitious and her deliveries here felt so bland. There are some interesting instrumental moments though here and there.

henryChinaski
May 24th 2018


4283 Comments


Judging from the artwork and her stage name this has to suck, but I'll give it a try.

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ZombieToyDuck
May 24th 2018


7076 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I beg that you don't start here.... check 1992 deluxe first

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2018


3056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Zombie! Sucks to hear this disappointed you, but I understand. She's certainly not rapping here, bar a couple verses, and her singing vocals aren't the greatest. I'll admit I don't think her vocals were particularly strong on the last either; they'd regularly break and often sounded very weak to me. Kinda added to the appeal, though, IMO.

Will agree with you, though, best to check 1992 Deluxe first. It's less focussed but it's richer and there's more variety.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2018


143 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i hate this album more and more each time i listen to it. really bad stuff.

rabidfish
October 4th 2018


5449 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's not that awful, c'mon

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guitarded_chuck
October 4th 2018


18035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

92 was dope will spin this in a few

guitarded_chuck
October 4th 2018


18035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

MY LITTLE TITTIES AND MY FAT BELLY

MY LITTLE TITTIES AND MY FAT BELLY

MY LITTLE TITTIES AND MY FAT BELLY

(dat girl issa tom boi)

guitarded_chuck
October 4th 2018


18035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ok yeah not into this and just decided im super done with the sadboi trend in hip hop time to move on fam it all sounds the goddamn same



i cant even really say "well good for her for doing her own thing" for the sole reason the sound lacks originality

rabidfish
October 4th 2018


5449 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it was never good to begin with

at least it's getting a younger generation of rap-heads more into guitar music, i guess?

i don't even know if that's a thing, tbh.

guitarded_chuck
October 4th 2018


18035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its origins were good, yung lean, bladee, franks blonde album, hell ill even admit i didnt mind some lil peep, oversaturated now though, everyone's just doing their best lil peep impression now

rabidfish
October 4th 2018


5449 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

mmmh yea agreed, bladee used to be kinda good

it grew old pretty fast



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