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FKA twigs: Lp1 [Deluxe Edition]

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Twigs' deconstructed shards of U.K. grime and garage land heavier, while elegiac vocals soften the songs without blunting their edge."

CMJ - "[T]here's a subdued sense of strength running under Barnett's pleas that translates into a dark confidence, and in that tension is where LP1 finds its best moments."

Paste (magazine) - "It's a record that drips with sensuality and, yes, sex in all its dynamics and complications."

Pitchfork (Website) - "Quiet as it may be, this is a huge album, a monumental debut. On a formal level, it takes the kinds of risks that few pop artists, and few 'experimental' artists, for that matter, are willing to take these days."

Clash (magazine) - "Fragile, heavenly and utterly compelling; this debut paves the way for boundaries-pushing pop. This is music that shatters you with a single tap."

Album Notes

FKA Twigs' early EPs were such jewel-like statements of purpose, delivering songs full of sensuality and heartache so economically, that an album almost seemed superfluous. None of these songs appear on the simply titled LP 1, a bold move that extends to the rest of the album. Tahliah Barnett opens up her sound by working with a host of producers: along with previous collaborator Arca, indie darlings Paul Epworth and Dev Hynes contribute their sound-shaping skills, along with Emile Haynie, whose contributions to Eminem's Recovery earned him a Grammy. They help give LP 1 a lusher sound that's more accessible, and more overtly R&B, than FKA Twigs' earlier work but maintains its ethereal sensuality. It's an approach that shines on the lead single "Two Weeks": the flipside of songs like "Papi Pacify" and "Water Me," where pain was suffused and eclipsed desire, it finds Barnett powerfully in control of her sexuality, rooting out doubt and infidelity over the verses' underwater beats and soaring on the ecstatic choruses. The album's other singles are just as charged. The Epworth-produced "Pendulum" amplifies FKA Twigs' bittersweet side beautifully, and when Barnett sings "I dance feelings like they're spoken," it's as intimate as the more overtly autobiographical and anguished "Video Girl," a nod to her time dancing in clips for songs by Ed Sheeran and Jessie J. Here and elsewhere on LP 1, she excels at broadening her emotional palette as well as her musical one. She glides from the album's lows to its highs, juxtaposing pitch-black tracks like "Numbers," where chopped-up breaths, beats, and horror movie strings channel panic, loss, and anger, with radiant ones like "Closer," the poppiest FKA Twigs song yet (and one that Barnett produced herself). Elsewhere, the spacious, moody "Kicks" and "Lights On" evoke the EPs without rehashing them, emphasizing the album's seamless transition to a grander scope. FKA Twigs' music was already so fully realized that LP 1 can't really be called Barnett coming into her own; rather, her music has been tended to since the "Water Me" days, and now it's flourishing. ~ Heather Phares



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