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‘Beatopia’: a no skip album for the fall

On July 15, the artist beabadoobee released her fifth album “Beatopia.” Beabadoobee is known for her catchy bedroom pop and TikTok-worthy tunes, but “Beatopia” shows a slight venture into different styles of music for Bea, while still maintaining the light and airy vocals listeners love. The album consists of 14 songs; one of which, “10:36,” was released as a single prior to the full album drop. 

Listening to the album in its entirety proves there are no skips whatsoever. Track one, “Beatopia Cultsong,” begins with ambient music and slight environmental noise such as clanging, then slowly transitions into acoustic instrumental with vocal tones overlaid. It is an interesting introduction to the album as it’s more conceptual than a piece many pop listeners would put on for casual reasons, but it shows Bea’s move into exploring other avenues of music. The song transitions well into track two, which happens to be the pre-released single “10:36.” “10:36” returns to classic bedroom pop sounds with synth sounds, an electric backing with driving drums and Bea’s light falsetto vocals. 

“10:36” is a bit more intense-sounding than Bea’s previous work, as the chorus is more punchy and less sweet despite the romantic tendency in her lyrics, and there is an electric guitar solo which is unique for Bea’s music. This is one of many songs with truly addicting choruses on the album, singing “I know you thought it was just us, I didn’t think you’d fall in love. You’re just a warm body to hold at night when I’m feeling all alone.” The song closes out with repeating lyrics on top of each other and a chant style fading into nothing. 

Track three, “Sunny day,” sounds exactly how it’s titled. Bea’s soft voice is smooth, light and warm during the introduction, backed only by an acoustic guitar until drums come in during the chorus. Once again, this track has an insanely addicting chorus and melody, it’s sure to be stuck in your head after one listen. This fades into the fourth song on the album, “See you Soon,” which is a return to Bea’s classic bedroom pop, namely in the way she sings “see you soon” in the most barely-there way possible. This is a song you listen to while alone in your bedroom at night, walking to class feeling cool or in the car with the windows down. I absolutely love the small asides she has within the lyrics that sound like they were recorded on an old telephone, singing “I guess I have to take it, I’m deteriorating” and “I try to have a meaning, and it looks appealing.” The lyrics just feel relatable even if you have no idea how. 

“Ripples” brings a string-heavy introduction to the album that is absolutely amazing. As someone with a classical music background, hearing any type of orchestral strings in a pop song is something I adore. Bea really gives the strings time to shine and bring emotion to the beginning of the song before she enters, slowly with a guitar joining the violins, her vocals coming in after 30 seconds of pure instrumentals. Once again, an amazing chorus with relatable lyrics somehow; Bea sings “So I’m keepin’ busy, work twice as hard as you. Want you to believe me, that I can pick and choose.” 

“the perfect pair” takes inspiration from another style of music with a very bossa nova-esque introduction and a jazzy rhythm on the drums, guitar and bass throughout the song. Bea’s vocals are stunning alongside the classic rhythm section and the strings utilized during the chorus. If you’re at all familiar with modern jazz fusion, the instrumentals in this song are very reminiscent of work that the band Snarky Puppy has put out throughout the years. Particularly the long instrumental outro takes me back to my early years as a jazz fusion fan. 

After a classic pop introduction, “broken cd” leads into a funky bassline and is another song that seems to fuse genres together to make a Frankenstein track I absolutely love. This track is a combination of classic styles and sounds with modern singer-songwriter sounds. Unlike “broken cd,” track eight takes a turn toward the more electric and slightly more rock’n’roll side of beabadoobee. While the instruments get more loud and intense, Bea’s vocals remain light until the chorus, which of course I am obsessed with: “Cause I’m not sure if I’ve seen you before. You looked familiar when I saw you. We go together like the gum on my shoes. We make out, we make out when it’s too late. We go out, we go out on a Tuesday.”

Track nine, “Lovesong,” is a return to classic, chill beabadoobee. This song relies heavily on her lyrics, which focus on a realistic perspective on love within a love song format, and acoustic backing. This song is soothing, to say the least—it sounds like warm sugar to the ears. 

The last five tracks of the album, including one featuring the artist PinkPantheress, follow the trend of being unique in Bea’s repertoire, yet sticking to her vocal roots. Combining elements of classical music, bossa nova/jazz, funk, folk and modern singer-songwriter bedroom pop, “Beatopia” is a listen-worthy album with absolutely zero skips, and will for sure be in my ears all fall semester long.

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