This is almost like the debut’s older sibling in a way. More mature, more well-thought out, and definitely has more of a story to tell. Hold The Girl is watching an open would heal in the span of 46 minutes - Rina penning trauma in such a verbose, cinematic, grand, theatrical way (with the music itself matching all of those qualities) is a marvel.
Clarence Clarity, much like with the first album, is really making it a point to match Rina’s approach to each individual track, like with the song This Hell where Rina is mocking the age old homophobic echo chamber of bible-thumpers in a light hearted way, saying how at least hell wont be so bad since she’ll be burning together with this other person. The feeling of this track compliments that narrative so well with these twangy guitars during the chorus and some deep synths floating around in the background.
Not only is Hold The Girl more impressive from a song-structure and production standpoint, it’s also impressing me more in it’s song-writing. These hooks go crazy everywhere, even on the more stripped back and vulnerable tracks like Forgiveness and Phantom - the latter of which is giving me these 80s glam rock vibes with these sharp guitar solos thrown in starting about two third of the way into the track - it’s one of the most powerful songs in this tracklist. The run from Holy (Til You Let Me Go) through Frankenstein is the best run under her belt to date. The quieter moments are more impactful, the bops bop harder (how can you not dig the groovy Bhangra vibes on Your Age???), and by all accounts Rina’s voice is stronger than ever before.
The only bad thing about this album is THAT COVER. She really should have used one of the single arts, why is she cosplaying as a… well… I’ll let you figure that one out.