Slayyyter
Troubled Paradise


3.5
great

Review

by luci USER (23 Reviews)
June 11th, 2021 | 37 replies


Release Date: 06/11/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An adventurous vision of pop, but not quite reaching breakout status.

Slayyyter’s mixtape was powerful or tasteless based on how much you can stomach turn of the millennium trends. I devoured that shit and sung its praises to anyone who would listen. As a Slayyyter stan, I’m now in the unenviable position of defending a disappointing follow-up. Let the record show: the mixtape holds up as a euphoric collection of pop music. As for this album, well, I’ll get into that soon.

Let’s first get up to speed on key events since the self-titled mixtape. Slayyyter got cancelled by Twitter for racist slurs she tweeted… as a sixteen year old. She collaborated with the Drake of underground pop alongside Kim Petras. She tried to collaborate with Azealia Banks, but that ended in a fiery meltdown as expected. After hitting the essential junctures of a rising pop star, Troubled Paradise positions her for a breakthrough into the mainstream. She’s conquered a Very Online crowd of messy bitches who live for drama; now she’s making a play for listeners that enjoy Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo. All the elements are in place: a brash persona, dynamic genre fusion, and visuals to sell the package. She’s a viral TikTok away from superstardom, but Troubled Paradise fumbles its opportunity as a launching point.

In anticipating this record, I kept a close eye on Rina Sawayama, a peer indulging in Y2K aesthetics and also gunning for a break into the pop industry. Granted, that’s where the similarities end between them. Rina delivered a debut about hereditary trauma, racial identity, overcoming adversity and other Brit Award things; Slayyyter writes songs about deepthroating cock and flashing her tits on Chaturbate. There’s a volley of charisma to how she attacks the work, a quality that’s carried over from Slayyyter. It’s the reason that “Mine” has solidified as the clear highlight for me: the verses are the sweetest candy I’ve ever tasted, vowels curling like sour strips to the eardrums. She moves past the Britney vocal fry this time, indulging in profane rapping and soulful diva wails. Good thing that ‘star quality’ is on display, because Troubled Paradise finds her in troubled waters.

First on strike is the overall concept: Slayyyter follows up her mixtape with… another mixtape. Restless and scattershot, it's a showcase of her artist persona that I’m sure was very impressive to the suits on the label. Problem is that it fails to cohere as an album: the opening run is comprised of vignettes that at times barely scrape the 2 minute mark, tossing out ideas with no sense of forward momentum. It takes until “Trouble Paradise” to reach solid grounding, an enveloping house number that stretches to 4 minutes. For once, I’m grateful for a lengthy album rollout: on first spin, I had that sinking feeling when you hear a title track that’s mid. The structure is too… circulatory. Verses and choruses bleed into each other, a lack of dynamism that keeps the track from popping off. Now however, I’m drawn to the turbulence within the storm. There’s an insidious melody to “reminisce on the days when you were mine,” among tiny hooks that take time to latch on. Again and again, her charisma overrides the structural issues.

At least there’s one tune I can praise without reservation: “Clouds” is a depressive bop that immediately corrects the fault of the preceding track. Here the chorus snaps into place, a house beat propelling the motion forward. Slayyyter lays down another striking melody: “I’m unhappier than I’ve ever been” delivered as a ray of sunlight, the bittersweet contrast hitting an emotional note. While the fans have gathered around “Over This!” as the album highlight, this tune edges it out for me. That track has the juiciest concept on paper – I was excited before I even heard it. Take the hyper compressed guitar of faux punk like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson and filter it through hyperpop production. The result is a pop punk riff that rattles in a digital cage, unruly and ecstatic. Slayyyter’s vocal delivery harkens back to 90’s rock, all refrains and key changes, amounting to an infectious tune that’s the easiest to recommend here. I’m left wanting slightly more, though: “Over This!” crests with a vocal rather than instrumental climax. The bottled-up energy of the guitar section is left unreleased, a microcosm of the problem with the album as a whole. Troubled Paradise is brimming with ideas, careening through modern sonic trends but ultimately fumbling its execution. It’s not the breakout hit we wanted. Despite that, Slayyyter's potential in the pop scene remains very compelling - I’m not hopping off this ride.



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Slayyyter


Comments:Add a Comment 
luci
June 11th 2021


12592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Over This!": https://youtu.be/NT9GklQN2GI

"Clouds": https://youtu.be/KdH-Kj5iiTc

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2021


14522 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was never really going to be my cup of tea, regardless the two-ish spins I gave this didn't really impress or detract in any meaningful way. Props for not mentioning 'Throatzilla' directly - I guess that follows the same social points as Lil Mariko's more "out there/sexualized" hits from earlier in the year?



I don't really have to much time to dive further into it all I guess.



Pos'd on the review.

Sowing
Moderator
June 11th 2021


38406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Excellent review as always, I wish you'd write more. I found her debut to be incredibly average, but I'm still going to check this one out because she writes some bops.

Digging: clairo - Sling

alamo
June 11th 2021


4115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review luci ♥



sort of had the same feeling about the title track, it has great moments but its a bit messy and would've been a lot better if it just had a more simple/usual structure



cant wait to jam this (and the new marina)

CameronLaD
June 11th 2021


236 Comments


I feel like this would have fit in really well with that 2007 Warped Tour rapper era of 3OH!3 and T. Mills.

Ryus
June 11th 2021


24628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

God bless this cum guzzling trollop [3]

Cygnatti
June 11th 2021


35264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

her debut fucks hrad, hope this one is close to as good as it

Ryus
June 11th 2021


24628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not feelin this so far tbh

Cygnatti
June 11th 2021


35264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oh no

Ryus
June 11th 2021


24628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ok it got better

Cygnatti
June 11th 2021


35264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

litttt

Ryus
June 11th 2021


24628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like her poppier songs a lot more than her more trap-oriented ones

dbizzles
June 11th 2021


14817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This bangs. Idk about the dog song, but otherwise, I'm in.

Digging: JAK3 - Moonlight Radiation

Get Low
June 11th 2021


10647 Comments


This is bad

gryndstone
June 11th 2021


2053 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mostly good, few clunkers

Havey
June 12th 2021


10584 Comments


she needs to make some trashy bro country imo

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2021


12365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bless u for this, excited to listen

Romulus
June 12th 2021


9012 Comments


really like over this!

Sowing
Moderator
June 12th 2021


38406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This has some solid tunes

Still not sold on her in general though, I feel like her sound is a little too haphazard for me

luci
June 12th 2021


12592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's how i feel about the first half, she does much better on the fully formed songs that come later. i hope you dug over this!



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