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PinkPantheress - to hell with it Music Album Reviews

PinkPantheress - to hell with it Music Album Reviews
The 20-year-old UK producer broke out on TikTok with snippet-sized songs that ache with nostalgia for the recent past. Her intimate, lived-in music succeeds where cheaper imitations fail.

Within the cultural whirlpool of TikTok, home movies of high schoolers from 2004 represent a strange utopia: “[Life] just seemed to be happier and easier back then,” reads a top comment on a popular video. Like many of her peers, the British producer and singer PinkPantheress projects a sense of wistfulness about the early aughts. “[M]usic was so unpolished and cool because I feel like people weren’t afraid of being a little bit cringe,” she told i-D. Since releasing her first song on TikTok in late 2020, she’s cultivated a sound that she calls “new nostalgic”; for the 20-year-old singer, that means websites designed to look like Myspace profiles and music videos uploaded with intentionally low resolution. On her debut mixtape, to hell with it, PinkPantheress sketches a Y2K fantasy that’s strongest when she uses the past as a guide, not a gimmick.

PinkPantheress is savvier and slicker than other young musicians who’ve cribbed aesthetics from the 2000s. Unlike newly minted viral stars like Jxdn or Addison Rae, PinkPantheress has put her songs at the forefront of her fame, obscuring her identity behind a moniker adopted from her TikTok username. It wasn’t until months after her first TikTok that viewers got more than a glimpse of her face; her real name remains almost impossible to find.

And then there’s the music itself, quicksilver slices of bubblegum breakbeats that blink to life and fade out in just over a minute. Her breakout song, “Pain,” sampled UK garage megahit “Flowers,” but slows it down to match her sleepy state of mind. Rather than try to overpower the sample with her lyrics, she fills the space with “la la las,” letting the simple two-note sample breathe, revealing the “lo-fi hip hop beat” inside the pulsing, dance-ready rhythm of the original. Her songs have a welcome, deceptive simplicity that’s missing from the cynical sheen of ultra-famous U.S. TikTok artists; she’s content to let a beat simmer, sing a few coy phrases, and leave before the concept grows tired.

But what sets PinkPantheress’ music firmly in the modern day is her voice, an ethereal, pixelated miasma that breaks from the earnest delivery of her British predecessors. Her pinched coos feel hyperreal, the edges of her syllables sharpened as if sung by a swooning voice-to-text machine. There are obvious comparisons to futuristic singers like Grimes and Poppy, but PinkPantheress’ strangely soothing vocals also recall the performative over-enunciation of “TikTok voice.” That intimate quality reflects the recording process for most of her early singles, which were tracked lying down in her college dorm room because she felt unable to sing standing up. The combination of retro samples and Clairo-esque bedroom pop delivery breaks the early-2000s spell: Sure, those songs were perhaps more “cringe,” but their vocals were overdubbed to the high heavens. PinkPantheress feels like she’s whispering in your ear.

While she’s clearly a passionate scholar of the early millennium, she also seems aware that this era of her career can only go so far. Most of her songs are maddeningly fleeting, as if a longer look would reveal cracks in the facade. But PinkPantheress is beginning to push beyond genre tropes; though to hell with it is essentially a collection of previously released singles, the tape’s new songs hint at broader palettes and bigger risks. Where earlier lyrics were almost all outward projections onto an anonymous crush, “Reason” and “Nineteen” reflect on her own life. The latter, with its crashing waves and drawn-out violins, is the closest the record gets to a ballad. “I wasn’t meant to be/This bored at 19,” she confesses, a grounding moment on an album saturated with post-party depression. It’s a slow and sensual track underscored by a low bassline, and unlike the rest, it builds without cutting to a breakbeat drop. It still doesn’t exceed the maximum allotted time for a TikTok, but it’s constructed for private sentimentality, not internet virality.

PinkPantheress succeeds where cheaper imitations fail because her reference points feel lived-in rather than opportunistic. She adds an undeniably contemporary spin on her trove of samples, imbuing them with the intimacy and immediacy that comes from a childhood spent on self-confessional platforms like Tumblr and TikTok. On to hell with it, PinkPantheress sculpts a digital-age paradise that exists only in an invented memory of the past, setting the stage for a career set more firmly in the present.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
PinkPantheress - to hell with it Music Album Reviews PinkPantheress - to hell with it Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, October 15, 2021 Rating: 5

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