Dorian Electra - Flamboyant
92
LATE REVIEW #10394932

Dorian Electra are another artist in the PC Music clan, and this is their debut album. I've been aware of this album, and the praise it got from the bald man as well as many people on AOTY that I regard very highly, but I never really got the motivation to try it. Not even the singles. And now with the release of the Sorry Bro (I Love You) single I just decided to finally dive in. That single isn't too good imo, nicely produced but way too short to leave any sort of impact. But that's not the matter right now.

I remember a few weeks back talking about the SOPHIE album very negatively, and that's because it's everything I hate about PC Music aesthetics condensed into one 9-tracker of a torture chamber. The production was too glossy to impress, and the ideas at their core aren't even that celebratory by bubblegum bass standards. Also, SOPHIE's performances were absolutely trash and gross and off the mark most of the time.

However with this lil thingy over here, I think it represents everything I love about this sound. In fact, this is the one album I've been waiting for all this time. This is in my opinion the big, focused conclusion to this entire field of music: from the sound to the performances to even the attitude and eccentricity many of these artists tend to have.

Firstly, let's begin with the vocals. Dorian really set themselves apart from most acts on that aspect. Their voice and inflections remind me a lot of a Young Thug, with the super wide, seemingly endless range, and the multiple, weird inflections. However, instead of the growly voice, you have this gleaming, glossy, elegant, sophisticated revision of it. And every track on Flamboyant shows this wide variety and incredible personality that is displayed in super infectious choruses like on Career Boy or Man to Man just to name a few. I would even argue that the effects thrown on top of their voice expand that trait greatly, to the point where a Young Thug sounds pretty vocally limited in comparison.

And this vocal personality is key to this album, to me anyway. Because my first listens were kinda rough, mainly becuase of how out there and weird some of the vocals were, like on Daddy Like. But as soon as they clicked, my perspective on the album has been entirely altered, and everything amazing about the project became a lot more apparent.

These performances melt perfectly within the production of this album, as well. Not the most freaky beats ever, I would argue some of those are straight up synthpop hits. So the production wasn't overthought in terms of experimentation, but the outcome was more than great. The album shines when slow and artsy, like on the soft, cottony Career Boy and the simple but very groovy Man to Man. But in my opinion it most vastly steals the show when it gets really aggressive and straightforward, even industrial like on Musical Genius, reminding me of some of the freakier 1000 gecs cuts. Absolute bangers like Emasculate or Guyliner or the opening track accomoanied with the emotional and really compelling climaxes they deliver on the choruses are some of the hardest stuff I've ever heard. And the jewel of the album imo is the title track, that is structured a lot like Rina Sawayama's XS, as the piano sections here transition into the industrial grinds so well and so flawlessly underneath Dorian's singing.

So, you have ballads, and you have bangers all over Flamboyant. How could it stand out even more? As I mentioned earlier, this delivers also on the eccentricity many PC Music protagonists tend to, and most precisely: gender politics.

Which fits, as Flamboyant's attitude of the vocals and production carries over to the subject matters and the way they are addressed on these songs. The core message is basically not to be ashamed from who you are and to cherish what you represent, but many of the concepts used to address many faces of the cube really makes for a lethal songwriting all over this thing. Man to Man, Adam and Steve, Mr. to You, Daddy Like and the great closure that ks fReAkY 4 Life are perfect example of that.

Flamboyant is the one album that takes everything admirable about this field of pop and displays it in a very open and pleasant way. It's not the trap-inspired banger that 1000 gecs is, nor it is the blend of insanity and contemporary that is Charli. It's a near-perfect leader of the PC Music camp both musically and ideologically.
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5d ago
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