Biig Piig
Bubblegum


3.5
great

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (240 Reviews)
January 25th, 2023 | 5 replies


Release Date: 01/20/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pull me under, I'm not afraid

The cross-pollination of R&B and neo-soul is nothing new, but what sets Biig Piig (real name Jessica Smyth) apart from her peers is her ability to lull you into a deep, hypnotic trance. Listen to her airy voice long enough, and you may just lose all concentration in what you were doing. Listen to the dense, pulsating beats long enough, and your bed could become the fluffiest, puffiest cloud known to man. In other words, as the saying goes, “it’s a vibe”. It’s also quite a repetitive, one-note vibe, so I suppose it’s a blessing that Smyth’s first mixtape Bubblegum is only 18 minutes long. It’s at the perfect length for the sleepy, seductive haze it exudes; any longer, and the tracklist could have fallen under its own weight. As such, each track offers its own mildly distinctive (key word: mildly) take on Smyth’s style and sound. Opener “Only One” doesn’t come out swinging, as much as it reluctantly drags itself into your ear; deep bass and slow tempos are the name of the game here, all while the dreamy synths keep going in and out of tune. But that’s not to say that everything is an absolute crawl, as “Liquorice” and “This is What They Meant” are able to translate the ethereal moods and panoramic production to something a bit snappier. Still, I feel as though Smyth is at her best when she just lets her music linger in its own detached lethargy. Case in point: the alluring Spanish-language spoken word vocals she uses in “Ghosting” -- a lovely compliment to the spectral keyboards and light guitar that permeate the track.

As you might imagine, such an ambiance is an acquired taste: if “Only One” doesn’t grip you, it’s unlikely that the rest of the Bubblegum will. But if you’re willing to get lost in this world, you’ll find a lot to enjoy. The production is immaculate and ensures that you’ll hear every little nuance and ornament that passes by, especially in the record’s most low-key moments. With that said, it’s hard to say whether this style will sustain Smyth’s career in the long term. The repetition of Bubblegum, while effective in conveying its feel and (once again) vibe, is a bit of a double-edged sword as well; if Smyth could find a way to expand and diversify this sound further, while still maintaining the essence of what she captured here, I think we’ll have something truly fantastic on our hands. But until then, Bubblegum is a lovely little slice of neo-soul bliss that invites the listener to explore, enjoy, and eventually get lost in its unique world. If you've got 18 minutes to spare, feel free to give it a try -- maybe you'll fall under its spell like I did.



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user ratings (4)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2023


17206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

TLDR: sleepy, but endearingly sleepy

pizzamachine
January 25th 2023


18375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rules

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2023


17206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, it's pretty great :]

Willie
Moderator
January 25th 2023


19319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I enjoyed this, but I don't think I'd ever come back to it. It's definitely chill and cool when looking for a certain vibe.



Edit: Quoting Dream Theater for this is... unexpected.

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2023


17206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, that sums up a lot of my thoughts as well. It’s definitely something you have to be in the right mood for, but for me, it really hits the spot when I AM in that mood







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