FKA twigs branches out with debut album LP1

Singer, producer, dancer FKA twigs' quietude shouldn't be missed


Album: LP1

Artist: FKA twigs

Label: Young Turks

Release Date: Aug. 12

Grade: A

With a sound as evocative as it is haunting, FKA twigs has made an album that deserves to be felt.

Her debut album, LP1, is being hailed among critics as the forefront of avant-garde pop and R&B, wooing listeners with an arresting and seductive sound.

From the first cosmic moments of LP1 to the delicate last moments, FKA twigs, aka Tahliah Barnett, asserts herself with a whispering, waiflike quality.

In every song, a down-tuned, flowing rhythm melds with Barnett’s fluttering vocals.

Barnett forms the epicenter of LP1, her gentle voice the most flat-out unique part of her music. Her voice seems to ebb and flow throughout, directing each song with quiet whispers.

The songs of LP1 traverse through themes of desire and sexuality. At the sexual peak of the album, “Two Weeks,” twigs sings, “I know it hurts / You know I’d quench that thirst.”

The bold lyrics are erotic and stimulating, but never feel overwrought.

Despite the explicit nature of twigs’ lyrics, her vocal delivery gives the song an angelic and innocuous feel.

Beneath all of this sexual bravado, LP1 also gives off varying degrees of melancholy. At the emotional core of the album, “Pendulum,” feels like the most intimate song of her debut album.

Twigs crooning, “so lonely trying to be yours, when you are looking for so much more,” genuinely elucidates the album’s underlying themes of loneliness and unhappiness.

In LP1, twigs dominates the album, drawing out each song’s full potential with her vocal style.

Lyrically, twigs has moments of elegance. She vocalizes the heavily sexualized lyrics with an incredible delicacy.

Her vibes are accentuated through the stuttering and swirling soundscape created by the album’s production team of twigs, Emilie Haynie, Arca, Clams Casino, Epworth, Cy An and Sampha.

The album is saturated with such extensive digital detail that the finer details can only be heard through nice headphones. The producers cut the album down to the bone.

In the skeleton of each song, the synth-heavy R&B gushes with clear inspirational blends of electronic, trip-hop, pop and blues. In her music, FKA twigs has illustrated a vocal range that can paint every shade of human emotion.

On LP1, however, FKA twigs has found a way to best express her favorite tint: sensual, but elegiac.