Dirty Hit Records
Fake It Flowers
Whether you know it or not, it’s beabadoobee’s world and we are just living in it. At only twenty years old, the artist also known as Beatrice Laus, already has a platinum certification from the RIAA, been on the cover of the NME and has been nominated for every award with the word “rising”, “newcomer” or “heatseeker” in it. It’s all very well deserved as while Bea may be young, she is also effortlessly talented. Coming off the success of a couple EPs and a Top 20 hit single in 27 countries, Bea is now unleashing her debut full length album, Fake It Flowers, on all us unsuspecting masses.
Fake It Flowers is chock a block with massive hits. Each song is practically waiting for its turn on the radio, prominent spot in the next Netflix feature, and the top spot on everyone’s latest Spotify playlist. Kicking off with “Care”, the thing that jumps out at you is how big these songs are. The production across the board is a bit of a throwback to a time before Bea was even born. Its big chiming guitars and glossy drums are very much a staple of the late 90s/early 00s radio pop rock. beabadoobee falls somewhere on the sonic spectrum between a heavier Ashlee Simpson and a lighter Paramore. All of this is definitely a compliment because as the songs being released, in that specific genre, in that era, were all super hits and so are the ones featured here. “Worth It”explodes out of the gates with some of the slickest guitars you will hear all year. Lyrically, Bea showcases a firm grasp on writing lyrics that are simultaneously honestly confessional and also pretty funny. The chorus of “Worth It” for example; “You say that you’re breaking up/Connection too slow/So just try texting again/Don’t pick up the phone/Don’t think we can be friends/‘Cause you’re too pretty/I wanna see you again/I don’t know what I’m saying” are as much a blast as their musical accompaniments. “Dye It Red”, just based on its lyrical content, would fit in pretty perfectly with the type of lyrical content that artists such as Liz Phair were lauded for writing in the nineties. “Kiss my ass, you don’t know jack/And if you say you understand, you don’t/You don’t, you don’t, you don’t/Fuck me only when I’m keen/Not according to your beer/Your beer, your beer, your beer/So let me be what I’ve wanted to be”.
There’s a raw emotionality to her words that are refreshing in this day and age and unfortunately are somewhat stronger than the album’s smooth production. Hopefully her writing won’t fall through the cracks or be dismissed as only “pop” because it is really good and holds up to what people’s perception of what important artists of today should be writing like. “Charlie Brown” has a punishing chorus that is all pounding drums and Bea’s wonderfully powerful scream. “Emo Song” is lush and, as the title suggests, emotional. The second half of the record gets a bit bogged down with same-y tempos and overwrought production such as the strings on “Sorry”, which seem unnecessary as the song is already very good and the choice to include them feels a bit too much on the nose. Lead single “How Was Your Day?”, recorded on a four track in a garden during quarantine, seems like the best way to represent Bea’s songwriting skills and that is to let them speak for themselves instead of hiding them behind armfuls of accessories.
It’s pretty impressive how much of a handle beabadoobee has on her craft at such a young age. Listening to Fake It Flowers there is so much to enjoy. One of the things that was consistently coming through, is as well made as this record is made with its huge, expensive sounding production, Bea’s songs remain the real stars of the show. It’s very exciting to see her now, this good at the start of her career and the promise of what we will be hearing from her in the coming years is thrilling.