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Princess Nokia - I Love You But This Is Goodbye (Album Review)

Friday, 17 March 2023 Written by Jack Terry

When Princess Nokia dropped '1992 Deluxe' back in 2017, it seemed as if the emo-rap crown would inevitably be hers for the taking. She's not quite managed to match those heights with subsequent releases, but her new EP 'I Love You But This Is Goodbye' sets out to right the ship as a short, sharp shot of her myriad influences and styles.

Centred around a break-up, 'I Love You But This Is Goodbye' wears its heart on its sleeve as it traverses the full post-relationship journey. Opening with the hypnotic and saccharine Closure, the bright electro-pop is at odds with the central hook: "I wrote you this album for my closure." 

The same 10-note melody that seems rampant in emo-rap carries the rose-tinted backgazing swiftly onward into Complicated, which begins to peel back the layers of what broke down between Princess Nokia and her unknown ex.

Interspersed with voice notes and messages of love, the emotion of it all is raw at times, making this story feel very real for the listener.

With a runtime of just 18 minutes, these seven tracks work hard to complete that full story, and while Princess Nokia has tried to get as much of her disparate soul, R&B, punk and metal influences into every moment, it all starts to feel shoehorned. 

Lo Siento is a sweet ballad that represents the bargaining portion of this depressing journey, while Angels & Demons bats for anger. Set apart, each track holds some fantastic elements—the vocal range displayed in the former and the venomous rapping of the latter add texture and complexity—but thrust together with everything else 'I Love You But This Is Goodbye' tries to do they’re reduced to a mash up that lacks cohesion.

It's a shame that this is an EP and not an album. The story is strong and palpable, but is betrayed by unfinished ideas and rushed endings. This was a chance for Princess Nokia to recapture the magic of those early albums, but here we only get glimpses. Still, at least she has closure now.


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