Samia
The Baby


3.5
great

Review

by BlushfulHippocrene STAFF
December 10th, 2020 | 15 replies


Release Date: 08/28/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Baby's first track-by-track

Face value, The Baby is hard to sell. It’s an album that covers a lot of ground, though, in doing so, risks fragmenting its listeners’ interests. Opener ‘Pool’, for example—its ambient bumbling; its Arabic sample; its patient, slow-moving approach to songwriting—hints at a slowburner of an album (think late Bon Iver, but less textured). What’s built up on ‘Pool’, however, is upturned almost immediately on ‘Fit N Full’, an unabashed and, unlike its predecessor, hyper-confident satirization of self-image. A bop, in other words, or a pop song. It’s very good. There’s nudity, murderous birds, a guitar solo. ‘Big Wheel’ and ‘Limbo Bitch’ further cement Samia’s pop acumen, demonstrate her ability to craft peppy, heartfelt hooks.

Skip over, then, to ‘Stellate’, which marks the first of a trio of indie-folk songs. They’re all good, all memorable. ‘Does Not Heal’, the last of them, provides the most stark contrast to the rest of the album, Samia’s vocals adopting a very wavery, lilty, folky quality; it’s as good a demonstration of the songwriter’s range as any, appearing out of nowhere and disappearing into ‘Waverly’, a piano-driven indie-pop song. Thus ends The Baby’s folk phase.

‘Waverly’ sees Samia leaning into the indie aesthetic. Ironically, it’s the album’s (best and) most distinct song: its short, easy-going aesthetic makes it prime Spotify playlist material; its production, however, is immaculate. Guitars and pianos pop in and out of the foreground, buried beneath a warm hazy something; there are insect sounds, a strange warbling; bouncy bass patterns give way to rumbly subbass at the song’s backend… An interesting contrast to ‘Winnebago’, which is Caroline Polachek-lite, and ‘Minnesota’, a further attempt at some kind of folk-pop hybrid.

You get the point, though. Closer ‘Something in the Movies’ returns to the hyper-sincerity of ‘Pool’ and, despite being the song that introduced me to Samia, is something of a perfect closer. That is, it pretends the rest of the album didn’t happen. Nothing more apt for an album that covers so much disparate ground. An album that is, maybe, a hard sell; that is, perhaps, less convincing than would be a cohesive narrative, a less disjointed whole. Are good songs not enough?




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user ratings (22)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Feather
December 10th 2020


6426 Comments


Neg'd! How dare you do a track-by-track!

Ryus
December 10th 2020


22193 Comments


shes a friend of a friend, weird to see her getting this much buzz

Digging: Hyroglifics and Sinistarr - BS6

Romulus
December 10th 2020


8919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fit n full is great

bloc
December 10th 2020


64367 Comments


Track by track needs to make a comeback. They're easily the best types of reviews.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2020


20681 Comments


I needed to hear this already and this made it essential

dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2020


1503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I found this like two weeks ago and have been absolutely obsessed with it. Near perfect indie-pop. Fit n Full is constantly stuck in my head the closer is beauuuuuutiful. Everything in between is so good as well

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2020


3578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, she's really something. When I started writing the review, album was a 3; it's an easy 4 now. I think watching the MVs might've helped it grow a little bit, actually.

Digging: Moor Mother and Billy Woods - Brass

Cormano
December 17th 2020


2495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

woah I need to get on this, sweet track by track

Cormano
December 17th 2020


2495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fit n full is so fun

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
December 19th 2020


3578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yesss. So glad you liked Cormano. Great song.

NorthernSkylark
December 19th 2020


10655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What did her mama give her?

Digging: Burial - Street Halo

Cormano
December 19th 2020


2495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Yesss. So glad you liked Cormano. Great song."



it's been growing on me, whole thing is great, I think the only track I don't really dig to some extent is Minnesota, but man are the bookends fantastic, there's also a full band version of Movies that's also great, and a pretty fun remix of Stellate too

Cormano
December 19th 2020


2495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've also been holding my tongue about this but her voice lowkey reminds of Adrienne Lenker at points

NorthernSkylark
December 19th 2020


10655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Check fugazi. This is alright tho.

Snake.
December 28th 2020


22605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

man peggy hill really gave her daughter a godly voice



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