Upon first listen of to hell with it, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the latest offering from the Bath-born songstress, PinkPantheress, for a rave-y, mid-noughties Lily Allen album – and with good reason too. Similarly to Allen, the upcoming singer cum producer has been lauded for her dulcet tones and honest lyricism, the likes of which pervade her shimmering ten track debut.
Exploring themes of depression and displacement in tracks such as ‘Passion’, alongside a healthy dose of good old-fashioned teenage angst, the album satiates pop’s latest craving for authenticity, in an apparent departure from the polished, over-produced musical offerings of the late 2010s. Whilst the likes of the uber glamorous Dua Lipa and perfectly coiffured boyband, BTS, have ruled the mainstream airwaves recently, the more alternative amongst Gen-Z music fans have been looking to social media for something more relatable. It’s here that PinkPantheress, with her particular brand of garage-band-pop, leads the charge.
Just as at home played at a cool underground music club as it would be played in your room
Stand-out tracks from the album include the lead singles, ‘Break it Off’, ‘Pain’, and ‘Passion’ which seized the popular social media platform, Tik-Tok, in a nineties-backbeat-toting chokehold last Summer. These tracks, which both boast upwards of 70 million streams on Spotify, look to well-loved, old-school Drum and Bass classics like Adam F’s ‘Circles’ and ‘Flowers’ by Sweet Female Attitude featuring Sunship respectively for their underlying riffs. The result of this, is a strong collection of nostalgic, pop earworms, which would be just as at home played at a cool underground music club as it would be played in your room, speakers blaring, after an argument with your parents who “just don’t understand” you.
The use of sampling throughout to hell with it is thoughtful and generally employed to a high degree of success, however, the tracks which rely on samples that are perhaps less easily recognisable (see ‘Noticed I cried’) fall somewhat flat comparatively. This of course begs the question “what is PinkPantheress without her samples?” – Well, only her future releases could tell us for sure. One thing that is for certain, is that to hell with it is an addictively good first album which looks to the old in order to creating something exciting, brilliant, and new.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes made to this image.
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