Rina Sawayama - SAWAYAMA
Apr 17, 2020
I wanted to listen to the leaks for this album so bad... so bad. But, I respect Rina Sawayama and instead waited until midnight to get to hear it when it officially dropped, and oh baby, it is good.

Personal Exposition:
I woke up about at 7:58am, two minutes before my attendance mandatory, zoom based college Spanish class. I was groggy, confused, and really just not feeling it. Classes continued until noon, and then I had a mandatory zoom work meeting at two. With four essays, two term projects, and a final exam all coming up in the next three weeks, my everyday has just been taxing and overloaded. The only thing really keeping me going has been looking forward to new music releases on Fridays, and boy oh boy, was SAWAYAMA worth waiting until its midnight release. SAWAYAMA is a cathartic experience, in the best, most upbeat way.

Artistic Exposition:
Rina Sawayama rocked the electropop world in 2017 with her debut EP RINA, an 8 song, almost 25 minute collection of shimmering, Clarence Clarity produced pop bangers. At the time, I enjoyed the EP, but Cyber Stockholm Syndrome was the only song that really stuck with me. When I head she was putting out a debut full length album this year, I went back to RINA and was blown away. The saccharine pop production and her very in your face vocal delivery was way way way better than I had remembered, and I immediately got hyped for SAWAYAMA to come out.

The Album Itself:
The title suggests a companion piece to RINA, and I think, to some degree, that's what SAWAYAMA is. It's a maturation, and broadening of her refreshing sound. SAWAYAMA starts off with a bang of all bangs with Dynasty and just refuses to let up from there. Mixing 80s synth aesthetics, Comme Des Garçon, with moodier pop ballads, Chosen Family, SAWAYAMA took what RINA did well, and expanded on that catchy sound to create a well-crafted collection of equally exciting modern era pop bops. She even goes so far to include nu-metal aesthetics on STFU!. Every song keeps up such high energy, even in the slower portions of the album, her energy and engagement isn't lost. The sparkly, shimmering production that had me so in love with RINA is expanded on SAWAYAMA and pushed into the corners of just about every genre she checks off on this album.

All over this album, Rina just exudes pure confidence. What a heavy hitting, exciting, fun listen.

Holy shit this album just does not let up. Rina just saved the world.
1 Comment
Apr 17, 2020
i didn't pay much attention to her EP but after reading, maybe i should listen to it again
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