Rina Sawayama – ‘Hold The Girl’: NME Review

Rina Swayama It is something of a mixed kind. Over the course of her second record, Hold The Girl, we witness the ecstasy, British indie, alternative rock of the ’90s, 2000s Avril Lavigne-Soft rock in style and beyond, with these broadband headphones with their sharp musical vision. It’s an audio reflection of how we can consume music in 2022. With streaming, it’s literally easier to listen to anythingWe’re less genre-guided, and have playlists that cycle between garage and country at the press of a button — or in the case of the title track of Sawayama’s latest album, all in one song.

This creative innovation has characterized previous Sawayama projects. 2017’s mini album ‘Rina’ was stuffed with sparkling hooks straight from Britney Spears or NSYNC playbook, but they sat along grizzly or hyperactive guitar tracks or psychopathic productions. Debut album of 2020soyama, meanwhile, was a critically acclaimed scrapbook of metallic, Y2K nostalgia, R&B, and 2000s pop music. This amazing project earned its place on a few “Best of 2020” lists, accelerating Swayama down the path she’s seen collaborating with ever since. Elton John (They reworked the awesome “Swayama Chosen Family”) and appeared lady gagaRemix album 2021 “Dawn of Chromatica”.

She settled down to start writing the “Hold the Girl” she belonged in during the “SAWAYAMA” era coming to an end and went into the process, she said, with the goal of writing “big songs,” which is evident throughout. Take “Frankenstein”, a huge tablet from the early twenty-first century remember agglomeration partySilent Alarm. Perhaps that’s not surprising: Producer Paul Epworth, who also fiddled with knobs on the original classic record, took on trac’s production responsibilities, even drafting in former Bloc Party drummer Matt Tong to contribute. It’s a massive tune, Sayyama’s announcement that “I don’t want to be a monster anymore / I don’t want to be a monster” Powered by an insane rhythm section.

However, Big doesn’t necessarily mean producing towering rock songs. The title track on the album ‘This Hell’ is tongue in cheek Shania Twin– Debt Crusher removes homophobic opinions (“Does the Lord hate us? Well then / Fasten your seat belts – at dawn we will ride ”)shouting symbols “Britney to Lady Die and Whitney” Along the way. There are cavernous moments of industrial dance too, like for whom I love– With the help of “holy”. The Irish producer adds moments of trance to the pieces, their shimmering blending offset by bass and ominous rhythms.

Meanwhile, the ‘hurricanes’ could have been plucked straight from earlier Kelly Clarkson Recording and Imagining is a plasterboard from the modern garage. This genre-hopping is anchored by Sawayama’s laser-accurate melodies and hooks, which maintain a criss-cross line on “Hold the Girl,” distinctive lyricism. Despite creating an album – largely high-octane – of songs that are set to star in the live arena (Sawayama is a marvel on stage and took home the trophy for Best live action in BandLab NME Awards 2022), there is also an impressive level of intimacy on display here.

“Hold the Girl” – the phonetic answer to the question: “What if the “music” era Madonna Went to a party in the warehouse…? – wrote after Swayama He underwent treatment. “[I] She said, “She had a revelation, so I decided to write this song…that was her beginning. I was crying before going to the studio to write about it.” Above powerful blows and through earworm hooks, Sawayama escapes in hard truths: “Sometimes I feel guilty about the promises I made to my younger self.”.

lyric force round However, the album is the amazing “Send My Love To John”. An animated modern country melody, inspired by a friend who has struggled with homophobia from his mother all his life. Out of the blue one day, when she hung up, the mother ended the call with the words, “Send my love to John,” acknowledging her child’s partner for the first time. The track was written from a parent’s point of view and created as a song for those who might not receive an apology from certain people in their lives.

With bass guitars backed by cohesive harmonies, Sawayama chords deliver the devastating words: “And I’m sorry for the things I’ve done / False love / To my only son / I try to protect you, but I think I was wrong / So I send my love to John.” It’s a song with great impact, and a show of the strength that quiet moments can endure.

While Hold the Girl is filled with often disparate voices, it is rooted in moments like these. Musical genres may come and go, but Sawayama’s second album is defined by her ability to mold each of these sounds into big, sassy pop songs. British pop album of the year.


Release date: September 16

tag record: dirty blow

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