Home With You
Break-ups are messy, emotional and incredibly difficult events to go through. Between the tears and shattered fragments of a broken heart that come with this, FKA Twigs picks up the pieces of her own broken heart and re-arranges them into an astonishingly poignant and beautiful self-portrait. Cycling through different moods and influences, MAGDALENE is both personal and all-encompassing, delivering an album that’s both reflective of Barnett‘s own experiences whilst encouraging others to find solace in her journey.
Thousand Eyes is a great scene-setter too, delivering some heartfelt lyrics that slip into an uneasy tone before dancing harmoniously across to one of my favourite tracks on the album, Home With You. With a heavy dose of distortion and a minimalist approach to the lyrics, this track teases influences of Massive Attack’s Paradise Circus whilst offering enough tonal differences to prevent it feeling too similar.
From here, the rest of the album embraces this uneasy tone and blends it with some deliberate and meaningful lyrics. This works in tandem with the tightly wound productions that allow the vocals to really shine through on every record. Ultimately this acts as the foundation for some interesting diversions from the status quo, including Holy Terrain which teases more of the familiar style of r&b that’s come out in recent years.
Fallen Alien sneaks in some electronica synths while Mirrored Hearts strips everything back to allow the vocals to stand out in a devastating self-reflective record. I could go on and lavish praise on each of the tracks here but to summarize, the entire album works as a start-to-finish musical journey and also one to pick a few records out at random to listen to.
MAGDALENE is one of the best albums of the year because of this and acts as a wonderful showcase of an artist that’s managed to find beauty in sorrow. It’s a creative album too, and one that utilizes all the tricks in the producer’s toolbox to deliver 9 tonally harmonic but equally unique records that paint a portrait of an artist coming to terms with a break-up and doing so in the most confident, heart-wrenching way. MAGDALENE is one of 2019’s essential albums and a great showcase to prove this industry can still deliver the goods.
Verdict - 9/10