(Grew off HARD)
Before reading this I need you to go listen to Say So If you haven't already.
I was definitely expecting to love this new Doja Cat album purely based on just how great these singles were, but I ended up loving it way more than I thought I would. I cannot get enough of her blend of pop and trap. While everything about her aesthetic is very unique, the biggest stand out are her vocals. She does many different inflections it reminds me of Kendrick and Young Thug. I've also noticed that she really likes to use some very strange background vocals on many of her tracks. They're typically in falsetto and uses them as something to support the choruses. The la las on Bite are a good example of this. She usually hops on some really cute, catchy and fun trap inspired instrumentals that I love a lot. She carves a very unique place based on the beats alone but her vocals really bring this up and above and make her stand out so much in this modern wave of painfully boring trap.
Cyber Sex is a really great tone setter because it is everything that is great Doja Cat. The cute instrumental, catchy hooks, great rap verses, fun background vocals and some very fun and sexual lyrics, it's all here and all great.
As I mentioned before, the la las on Bite are a lot of fun and just as catchy as the actual chorus is. However I am not as big of a fan of "I might bite" refrain, it's definitely not one of the best on the album, however everything else about this track is fantastic. I love the twinkly guitars in the instrumental, they really add to the playfulness of the track. Smino's performance is amazing. I love his singing, it presents so much character and I love the short period of silence right before he starts his verse, it makes it really pop in.
I love the smooth and kind of sexy instrumental for Rules but I'm not a fan of this chorus. It could grow with more listens but it's just not catchy and I'm not fond of her inflection during it. The verse however are amazing. She has some very speedy and catchy rapping one second and another where she sounds a lot like when Kendrick when he does his weird falsetto voice.
I really love the change in tone with Bottom Bitch. It stands out for having a drastically different aesthetic. There is a lot of autotune on her vocals but that doesn't distract from how fantastic her songwriting is on this one. This is easily one of the catchiest songs of the year. It also sticks out from the album due to its dusty guitar sample, it sounds straight out of the emo trap scene but with Doja's unique twist on it
SAY SO IS DEFINITELY IN AT LEAST MY TOP TEN FAVORITE TRACKS OF THE YEAR IT IS SO GOOD AAAAAAAAAAA!!! This is easily one of the best sexy dance songs of the decade. I love this hook so much. The layers of breathy vocals are just too much, I can't handle it. This is one of the few tracks on the album that aren't trap inspired at all, this is purely a sensual dance track inspired by 80's production. The first verse is so sexy as well, I honestly can't even really put into words how much I love this song, just go listen to it.
Like That is another serious highlight for me. This is another irresistible hook for me. Gucci Mane also sounds surprisingly great over this beatl and goes way harder than he has been recently. His ad libs are also really great throughout the track.
The crushed background vocals on the hook of Talk Dirty are not a highlight of an otherwise pretty good track. The beat definitely isn't one of the best but Doja still goes off with one of her best vocal performances. The best part is probably when she spits some speedy triplets in one of the verses.
Addiction is another track that isn't trap influenced at all, it is another funky sensual ballad. While it isn't a third eye opening experience like Say So was, it's still very good. The bassy instrumental is very good, the thick synths are very nice and the drums are so punchy and really get you moving. The refrain of "Just a little bit more" is fantastic, it's very catchy and very sexy.
Better Than Me is has a very nice clean guitar sample but it really isn't as memorable as some of the other tracks. The vocals aren't quite as entertaining as they are on other tracks but the chorus is extremely sexy. The background vocals remind me a lot of Kali Uchis as well.
Juicy is a fantastic song and fits in snugly with the albums aesthetic but isn't really the best closer. It sounds more like a continuation of the album rather than the ending. I would have much preferred a ballad to close this album but instead we just got another fun and cute banger. It's not that big of an issue because the track is fantastic. It has one of the best instrumentals on the album with some really cute synths that sound straight out of Mort Garson's Plantasia. The biggest surprise to me is that even Tyga kills it on this track. His flows are pretty catchy and his lyrics are a nice combination with Doja's, even if he does have a kind of goofy nasally voice.
This is another great pop album to add to 2019's army of great pop albums. I don't know how many times I said cute, sexy and catchy but I did for a reason, and that is because those apply to pretty much every track with only a few exceptions. It's not perfect as a full album experience, there isn't really a flow between tracks and it just kind of ends after the 12th track. Those aren't really issues that play in too much when I'll just be returning to this for some fantastic pop tracks. I'm really glad that there were very few features on this album, it really allows Doja to shine as bright as possible but when a feature does pop up, it's pretty amazing. Even Tyga kills his performance. I should also touch on just how impeccable this tracklist is. Pretty much every track is memorable and a lot of fun, but most importantly, there's only 12 of them and it ends at 40 minutes, which is like the perfect album length. Finally, I see this as a massive improvement on her last albums formula. While Amala was a pretty good album, it got bland in parts and this album just doesn't do that and because of that it ends up being one of my favorite projects of 2019.
Cyber Sex 8-10
Bite Ft. Smino 8-10
Bottom Bitch 9-10
Say So 10-10
Like That Ft. Gucci Mane 9-10
Talk Dirty 7-10
Better Than Me 6-10
Juicy Ft. Tyga 9-10