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Empress Of - For Your Consideration (Album Review)

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Kaio Cesar

Empress Of entered the scene in 2015 with in-your-face, feminist electronica. In the intervening years she has stood up her own label and refined her sound. But with a move towards club bangers, 'For Your Consideration' places Lorely Rodriguez in a pretty crowded field. 

On the album’s strongest tracks, she maintains a distinctive voice. Lorelei manages the feat of Jolene-style storytelling backed by a bumping beat. It paints a vivid and compelling picture of an unwelcome third entering a relationship. 

Rodriguez’s real talent is in the building up and breaking down of layers of rhythm and noise — this is demonstrated on Femenine, where she uses her voice as percussion, driving a call and response that could feel monotonous if not for the sexy and spirited delivery.

These are dance-ready tracks with attractive attention to detail. Similarly skilful is Sucia, where she does it all, from high breathy choruses, to neat and tidy harmonies, and down to a whisper. 

Things are patchier elsewhere. What Type of Girl Am I and Baby Boy both have commendable moments but clichéd and on-the-nose lyrics, coupled with generic songwriting, leave you cold. The low points of the album, though, are its collabs: Kiss Me, with Rina Sawayama, and What’s Love, with Muna. Kiss Me, in particular, sounds like a mid-table hit attributable to any of about 100 artists from the past 20 years. 

On balance, 'For Your Consideration' is fun and fast-paced, with glimmers of Rodriguez's prodigious lyrical and songwriting abilities. And yet at times it is like she is feeling her way through this new sound, or worse, aping other artists. It leaves her a little indistinct from her contemporaries.


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