Review: FKA twigs – M3LL155X

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M3LL155X is a fluid, captivating audio experience, a plethora of innovation, proving FKA twigs' position as a free artist breaking the boundaries of music.

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After momentous speculation and finally the reveal of fresh songs through various different mediums, last week FKA twigs surprise-dropped a brand new EP entitled M3LL155X, serving as a follow-up to her critically-acclaimed LP1 released last year. Five tracks and just over 18 minutes long, M3LL155X is a fluid, captivating audio experience; a plethora of innovation.

Opening with ‘Figure 8’, the EP demonstrates the epic dimension to twigs’ layered sound. With a deep bass and confident lyrics, twigs introduces us to an absorbing track that knows exactly what it’s doing. Colossal sounds are juxtaposed with gentle tingles, and its unusual structure and avant-garde nature sets it alongside LP1 opener, ‘Preface’. M3LL155X begins with a track that pushes musical boundaries with fierce endeavour. Finishing with whispers, ‘I’m Your Doll’ then comes into fruition through twigs’ morphed vocals, before they become crystal clear against the backdrop of a sizzling beat. Just over two minutes in, the song explodes into an eclectic postmodern text, where alternative, R&B and rock sounds fuse together to build a huge finale. Most notably here and in the EP as a whole, twigs explores with the combination of genres but also the consistent use of highly varied intensities, where tenderness turns into thunderous beats.

‘In Time’ sits in the centre of the EP and is the longest of all the tracks. The track begins as the most conventional experience so far where twigs uses tame electronic sounds to craft a pleasant melodic track. It’s not until the enchanting track develops its chorus that we see twigs throw the track into a totally different sphere, characterising it with a firm R&B sound, rapping lyrics such as “When I’m holding you down, you be picking a fight” and “You’ve got a goddamn nerve”. ‘In Time’ isn’t as diverse as other tracks on the EP, but has an infectiously memorable sound and it bleeds with intriguingly twisted R&B.

‘Glass & Patron’, which arguably should have been selected as the finale of the EP, begins with tingles, flutters and twigs’ gentle operatic vocals, complimented with dark electronic sounds, before the track showcases the closest the EP gets to the dance genre. With a deep repetitive beat and electronic riffs to make for mesmerising sounds, ‘Glass & Patron’ is the highlight of the album; seductive, epic, ingenious and fearless, the track reflects the purpose of the EP. M3LL155X concludes with ‘Mothercreep’, a haunting, fascinating and inviting track. It peels away at twigs’ sound to make for a provocative vocal display, but doesn’t quite live up to the masterful quality of its predecessor that plays just before it.

Disparate, courageous, and heroic, M3LL155X achieves what many other artists struggle to do: outperform or match the brilliance of their previous effort. Through boldly fusing genres, M3LL155X consists of eclectic tracks that display FKA twigs as a frontrunner in 21st century artistic expression, breaking musical boundaries with intelligent results.

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Film & English student, Deputy Editor of The Edge and President of FilmSoc. Likes FKA twigs, BANKS and other capitalised artists.

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Most captivating EP I’ve listened to in ages, coaxing me away from playlists. twigs is amazing. “Now, hold that pose for me.”

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