Review: LION BABE – Begin

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LION BABE's debut record is strong, upbeat and extremely infectious.

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Begin is the first album release from duo LION BABE, composed of vocalist Jillian Hervey and producer and musician Lucas Goodman. The two live and work in New York City, which clearly influences their musical style, as there is a distinct edginess to their work. Plus, fun fact: apparently the band name—LION BABE—derives from Goodman’s star sign being Leo and a reference to Hervey’s hair (long gorgeous curls).

Many positive words spring to mind when listening to Begin, but one that I feel particularly describes this exciting new debut album is bold. Hervey’s vocals are really impressive, as are the strong beats that flow throughout the whole record. The album in its entirety has a very clear hip-hop, pop and therefore contemporary sound, but there is a strong hint of soul and older influences. For example, their first single ‘Treat Me Like Fire’ heavily draws on, and even samples Eunice Collins’ classic ‘At The Hotel 1974’. The track ‘Got Body’ is also a clear representative of Lucas’ and Hervey’s gorgeous blending of old and new.

The album opens with ‘Whole’, which sets up the album in terms of its power and strength, with the first lyric “you should just save your breath for me, and shut up…”, clearly highlighting the tangible sass that resonates off this record. On the whole this album isn’t the strongest lyrically, as there is a lot of repetition and quite unoriginal sounding lines, but this in no way detracts from the overall sound.

LION BABE has only continued to build on their massive underground following. There are even rumours of the pair working with huge producers and musicians like Pharrell Williams and Mark Ronson, which clearly evidences their growing popularity within the music industry itself. One of the best tracks on the album features the hugely popular recording artist Childish Gambino – titled ‘Jump Hi’. Other favourites from the album include ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Impossible’, ‘Stressed OUT!’ and ‘On The Rocks’.

After having spent three days consecutively playing this album, I am going to buy the physical copy because I have grown very attached and I recommend you do the same.

‘Begin’ is out now via Interscope Records.

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Third year student, studying English and History.

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