Review Summary: All I do is cry about you. I ain't worried 'bout nada 'less it Gucci 'less it Prada.
The dualism of Kim Petras' debut has always been striking to me. There's a lot of materialist flexing on the album, backed by simple, effective rhyming, but there's also a lot of depth lurking just under the surface. Singing about heartbreak is nothing new in pop, sure, but there's something undeniably interesting about the way Kim juxtaposes shallow, consumerist impulse with baring her soul. Almost a case study in the ups and downs one experiences during romantic breakups, Clarity sees Kim oscillate between filling the hole in her heart with handbags, lamenting her lost love, and decrying the one who made her heart so Icy. Add in her engaging vocal range, clever references to the experience of being a transgender woman, and you get a seriously fun pop album that surpasses its contemporaries without reinventing the wheel.
The attitude and emotive quality of this album can be found on some of her newer singles, but Kim has largely moved on from the self-described “sad girl” aesthetic, finding confidence in her ability to craft moving pop songs that don't revolve around a singular relationship experience. Hopefully she'll soon find the confidence and clarity to move on her from her producer as well—leaving her comfort zone in this way would undoubtedly catapult her to the next level of her artistry. Until then, Clarity remains the most consistent and inspired studio work she's released to date, injecting the modern pop formula with unique catharsis.