Kim Petras - Her Biggest Move
One of pop's most intriguing performers smooths off her odd edges in an effort to go for radio-ready gold.
Kim Petras has been working on a first album for the past 15 years. In the interim, the German singer-songwriter has established herself as a pop star to watch: Her "Era 1" tracks, which were released between 2017 and 2019, paid a cool homage to the bubbly 2000s bubblegum, and her two mixtapes with a Halloween theme were edgy, spooky fun. Petras made history earlier this year when her Sam Smith collaboration, "Unholy," became her the first trans artist to achieve a Number One hit.
The road to Feed the Beast, though, hasn't been all champagne and glitz. Due to allegations of sexual assault and abuse that kept the producer locked in a protracted legal battle with Kesha, which just recently settled out of court last week, her continued work with Dr. Luke has caused concern for many music fans. Then, Problematique, Petras' initial debut album, was completely abandoned after joining with a major label in 2021, and eventually leaked.
Petras has referred to her most recent release as her most "personal" work to date, abandoning the personas she assumed for her Turn Off the Lights Halloween efforts or even her Slut Pop EP from the previous year. However, this album makes it seem like we've moved even further away from Petras' artistic identity, losing the peculiar fascination and spark that made her earlier work feel so refreshing and out of the ordinary.
The majority of Petras' new music appears to be primarily influenced by Europop and Nineties house. The album's lead song, "Alone," copies Alice Deejay's 1999 hit "Better Off Alone," adding unneeded trap hi-hats to the mix and a shockingly low-energy Nicki Minaj guest verse. The majority of the album is made up of comparable subpar attempts to gain radio and TikTok play, turning the frequently trend-setting Petras into a copy of many copies. Songs like "King of Hearts" and "Claws" have the same watered-down, indiscriminate sound as a barrage of expensive vodka sodas.
The good news is that "Coconuts," which was released last year, is still a happy song. A steely Eighties guitar riff and a chorus on "Revelations" feel like a reference to her spooky-pop past. Although all of the songs are quite sexy, "Sex Talk" and "Hit It From the Back" are the sexiest sex songs, and they deserve praise for their candour and sense of humour.
Of course, even subpar music have the ability to be danced to. Above all things, Petras is a true admirer of pop music and the vibe it conveys. However, she gave up the crazily futuristic attitude that gave her a platform in the first place in pursuit of her new status as a pop singer with prospects for the Top 40. The beast has been subdued here. Hope it doesn't remain quiet for too long.
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