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Beabadoobee - Beatopia (Album Review)

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: Erika Kamano

‘Beatopia’ began life as the imaginary world of Beabadoobee—first conceived when she was seven years old, she has subsequently brought that same feeling of childlike wonder into focus with the album bearing its name. Over the course of its 45 minutes it’s alternately playful and introspective, meandering between indie rock, shoegaze and bedroom pop.

It offers little in the way of a refinement on her 2020 debut ‘Fake It Flowers’, and instead ‘Beatopia’ is far more scattered and uncaring when it comes to genre convention. Much of it passes by in a dreamy haze rather than sticking at first listen, but that lack of immediacy is no bad thing. Peel back the layers and there’s a richly textured album underneath it all, with Beabadoobee embracing far more than just her musical roots.

Opener Beatopia Cultsong wanders a little too aimlessly over its two and a half minutes, but 10:36 finds its energy quickly despite a jarring false ending at its midpoint. On the other hand, Sunny Day is all chill-hop with laid-back guitars, while The Perfect Pair is inhabited by bossa nova beats.

Lovesong, meanwhile, is a rock eruption that’ll find its way to being a coming-of-age TV soundtrack before long. The soft fuzz-pop of See You Soon gives way to the classical strings of Ripples before the song brings out an acoustic guitar to channel early Taylor Swift through its pop-flirts-with-country sensibilities. 

By the time she wraps up You’re Here That’s The Thing with its folksy, foot-tapping rhythmic strums, Beabadoobee has wandered lazily through that internal world she created all those years ago, giving us and less of an introduction to it than a full-body immersion. While much of ‘Beatopia’ gives off a distinct feeling of having been heard somewhere before, there are glimmers of her own musical voice shining through as she continues to explore what it is to be Beabadoobee.

Beabadoobee Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue July 19 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rough Trade
Wed July 20 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Vinilo
Tue October 04 2022 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Wed October 05 2022 - BELFAST Ulster Hall Belfast
Fri October 07 2022 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Sat October 08 2022 - NORWICH Norwich Nick Rayns LCR UEA
Mon October 10 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Tue October 11 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE NX
Thu October 13 2022 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy
Fri October 14 2022 - SHEFFIELD Sheffield University
Sat October 15 2022 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Mon October 17 2022 - BRIGHTON Chalk, Brighton
Tue October 18 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Southampton Engine Rooms
Wed October 19 2022 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton

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