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Azealia Banks: Broke with Expensive Taste *

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "She nods to club kids of all ages by infusing elements of jazz, deep house and U.K. garage into tracks like 'Desperado' and 'Chasing Time'....This just might be the year's boldest release."

Spin - "[E]xactly the project that fans were clamoring for, with Banks at her lyrical sharpest and, musically, her most eclectic so far."

Pitchfork (Website) - "Opener 'Idle Delilah' bursts in effortlessly crossing elements of house, dubstep, and Caribbean music."

Clash (magazine) - "[A] bubbly, bright and boisterous affair....Never less than entirely entertaining."

Album Notes

Broke with Expensive Taste, the official debut album from rapper/songwriter Azealia Banks, finally appeared in late 2014, despite originally having been scheduled for a 2012 release and well after several songs showed up as singles many months and sometimes years before an album surfaced. Various delays and major-label red tape ultimately saw Banks walking out on her contract with Polydor/Interscope and independently releasing the album digitally with no press notification or promotional lead-up. This surprise-attack release followed a similar approach as Beyoncé's late-2013 self-titled album, which simply appeared online in full without notice about a year prior to Broke with Expensive Taste. Finally a reality, the strengths of Banks' debut are incredibly strong. Aforementioned long-available singles like "212," "Chasing Time," and "Yung Rapunxel" showcase aggressive production that winds together dubstep's relentless bass pounding and Banks' talents as a fluid, sometimes vicious MC as well as a serviceable R&B vocalist. Production assistance from underground figures like Lone, AraabMuzik, Ariel Pink, and Lil Internet, among many others, gives the album an incredibly varied feel, visiting styles ranging from icy trap to Latin funk. ~ Fred Thomas


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