Dorian Electra - My Agenda
Oct 16, 2020
Dorian Electra is certainly an enigmatic figure, defying cultural and gender norms in such an in-your-face way that some might even view it as campy. If you do, you'd be right on the money, as Dorian once said in an interview, “Camp sees outside of the status quo, and also has a sense of humour, to cope with it, that’s knowing but also sincere.” Dorian Electra revels in the camp, as they exaggerate their personality and fashion sense to the highest possible degree, not just in a statement to society or for the sake of image but also in an effort to empower themselves. Not only does the music follow suit in sound, but it also feels like it offers that same empowerment for Dorian's listeners.

I'll briefly note that there are certainly imperfections across My Agenda. The maximalist pop often relies a little too much on the same club beats at times, and sometimes recycles old dated styles in a ridiculous form. The prime example of this final point is Monk Mode, which in a mere minute goes from choral vocals to dubstep and then to metalcore. As someone who grew up in this era, even with the monk style opening in, it's about the most 2012 thing I've heard all year. The club and electropop do sometimes verge on repetitive when they are the focus, however, this feeling doesn't typically last long.

That's because My Agenda is frequently experimenting with the format in one way or another. In less than a half an hour, Electra utilizes their own form of trap beats on Gentleman that are mixed in with this ridiculous horn sound that juxtaposes the beat in a harsh but fun way. M'Lady gets industrial with its beats. Ram it Down is this strange Viking experience over glitchy beats that then return to the screaming metal vocals. For each electropop Barbie Boy, art pop Sorry Bro (I Love You), and club banger F the World, there is another song that is so out there that there would be little use in defining it.

It feels like Electra also revels in defying definitions, both in their identity and their music. They don't have any intention of sitting in a box for any period of time, breaking them down quickly and then tossing them out. Electra sees the idea of being flamboyant as “Anything colourful that’s begging to be looked at and is out there and bright" rather than a derogatory term. It's certainly empowering to be offered this opportunity to be out there and bright, and Dorian Electra extends their hand and wants us to come to the light with them. Even if the music is by all measures "out there", when viewed as the expressionist art it is, it's hard not to want to embrace being just as out there as Electra.

Favorite track: My Agenda
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