And they said that Idles was blunt.
Dorian Electra is one of those artists that you are either going to love with all of your heart, or hate with every fiber of your being. While hyperpop has become a lot more mainstream due to artists like Charli XCX and 100 gecs leading the large for pop music to go into more abrasive, cynical and experimental direction, Dorian has always been a hard artist for most people to pin down exactly what they are all about.
And frankly, I believe that that’s the intent behind the identity of Dorians music. At times serious, at others wildly goofy, the music Dorian makes is nothing short of headscratchingly captivating for those who are fans of the genre. So, after the brilliantly cohesive yet strangely confronting ‘Flamboyant’ that hit in 2019, the hyperpop sphere had their greasy eyes all over Dorian and what in gods name they were going to do next. Hell, what COULD they do next?
Well, the answer is...whatever the fuck they want, apparently!
If you were going into this record expecting another well-crafted, meticulous pop rush akin to Dorian Electra’s last album, then your probably going to be bitchslapped back into reality, because even for Dorian Electra standards, this thing is really fucking weird. The production is way more abrasive, the lyrics are far more in your face (with topics of sexuality and sex basically being fistfucked into your skull) and the songwriting and overall composition of these tracks waaaaaay more experimental and off the wall. If ‘Flamboyant’ was Dorian Electra’s ‘Thriller’, then this album is Dorians ‘Bad’. The sound that Dorian were going for on their last record has been twisted, poked at, humiliated, smashed in the skull and forced to choke on a gag ball, and ‘My Agenda’ is the disturbing aftermath.
Obviously that’s not to say that this aesthetic change is completely out of left field, or even that different from what Dorian has been doing recently. Tracks like the sax laden pop sprint of ‘Gentleman’, the hilariously raunchy ‘love’ ballad ‘Give Great Thanks’ and the LGBTQ+ frog anthem ‘My Agenda’ (with pretty great features from both Pussy Riot and The Goddamn Village People) show that Dorians knack for writing infectious yet wacky pop jams has not worsened with experience. As wild as this ride might be at times, the record did have me humming along to a lot of it’s catchy choruses and got in my head like a virus.
It’s not really the content of Dorians work that’s changed, it’s more the way it’s presented, with the more edgy and raw sounding production being clear right from the get go on on singles like the Rebecca Black featured banger ‘Edgelord’ and the opener ‘F the World’, which while not my favorite track on the entire project (mostly because it’s too dependent on it’s features to stick out in any way), sets the stage of ‘Yeah, this album is not holding back punches.’. It’s raw, it’s ruthless, and it’s really fucking horny.
And that weirdness just continues on songs like the creepazoid anthem ‘M’Lady’ which lasts for one minute and basically gets in, creeps you out, and dips, and the Gaylord featuring oddity of ‘Monk Mode (Interlude)’ that really only feels like it’s there so that an artist known as ‘Gaylord’ can be on the feature list. This album does not let up on the absurdity, and if you are not into the personality behind Dorians music, then there is not going to be a lot here to take in that you are going to enjoy. And honestly, it does kind of falter the album if I’m being 100% honest, at least with the tracklists consistency. One of the best things about Flamboyant is the consistency of pure pop bangers on display, one after another. This, while there really isn’t any filler in it’s 25 minute hit, just lacks the consistent SLAP of the last record, and while it is trying to achieve different things stylistically, just feels a little disappointing when in comparison to their last record.
Still, the highs on this album are super high. The chaotic, ADHD fueled punch of ‘Ram It Down’ is something to honestly be in admiration over how bizarre the track is, and ‘Give Great Thanks’, while lyrically abrasive, has some delightful and beautiful production that makes the track come to life in a really beautiful way, which is frankly impressive given the lyrical content. This album, while it might is very VERY weird, is still a really fun, if not inconsistent ride.
So, if you got 25 minutes, give this a shot and see if you get punched in the face. Or most likely fucked.
Favorite Jams: Ram It Down, Give Great Thanks, Gentleman
Lest Favorite: Monk Mode (Interlude)