If you know me personally or have been following this blog for a while, you should recognize the name Beabadoobee by now. This is an artist that I have liked a lot since I first started listening to them; Her EP Space Cadet was my favorite EP from all of 2019, and it was one of my favorite music projects overall from last year as well(if you are a fan of Beabadoobee after reading this review and listening to them, you should search for them in the search bar below and check out my article on Space Cadet). Beabadoobee is the stage name for 20-year-old Bea Kristi, who hails from London, Britain. Bea is an artist who has always worn all of her influences on her sleeves. She has always expressedy a love for late 80s and early 90s formative Indie Rock groups like Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. She has also been very vocal about her love for mid-90s Rock music. If you follow her on Instagram, herinstallation with 90s Rock is very evident; this love for 90s Rock is very eclectic and diverse, as she will show just as much admiration towards Sixpence None the Richer as she will the Smashing Pumpkins. Beabadoobee’s music is sort of a culmination of all these retro sounds she enjoys so much. I once saw a Youtube comment stating that her music is “like Sonic Youth meets Hilary Duff,” and I would say that is an incredibly accurate description of a lot of her music. Fake It Flowers is the name of Beabadoobee’s debut record, which has been highly anticipated since it was announced earlier this year. Beabadoobee became an indie darling and fan favorite over the last year as she began to get more and more popular, and so many people have been excited to hear what she was going to do with this record. With that being said, here is my review of Beabadoobee’s new album Fake It Flowers. Please let me know in the comments below if you agree with my review of this record, and let me know what your favorite songs from Fake It Flowers are in the comments as well.
It’s been a while since I’ve thought about it. Maybe it’s time to communicate. I was seven to think about it. The fact I still can’t forget about it. I don’t want your sympathy. I guess I’ve had it rough. But you don’t really care… – ‘Care’
Fake It Flowers gets started with the song ‘Care,’ which was the first single released from this record. ‘Care’ is a song that instantly became a fan favorite, and it made her fans even more excited for the rest of the record to come out than they already had been. ‘Care’ is a song that would sound perfect in a 90s coming of age Romantic Comedy movie. I could see this song playing during an important scene in movies like She’s All That or 10 Things I Hate About You. The thing that stands out the most about ‘Care’ is the super bold and fun chorus. It would be so fun to be in the crowd and sing along as Bea yells: Stop saying you give a shit, because you don’t really care! One thing that most fans of Bea’s music can agree on is that she is great at writing choruses that are earworms, and ‘Care’ is the first of many examples of that from Fake It Flowers. ‘Worth It,’ which was another single released in anticipation for this record, is not nearly as sweet-sounding as the song that precedes it. It has a lot more of a chaotic alt-grunge sound to it, and Bea’s mood is not nearly as angsty and confident-sounding on ‘Worth it’ as it is on ‘Care.’ ‘Worth It’ is a song about Bea admitting not being faithful to her partner in a previous relationship; the melody and overall tone of this track reflect the apologetic sadness and anxiety that are expressed in the lyrics. ‘Worth It’ is not the sweetest and catchy song to listen to on this record, but the realness in the emotions expressed on this track make it stand out differently. The next song, ‘Dye It Red,’ eases the tempo of the record up a bit. This is the first song of the record that has a bit of a slow jam feeling to it. Although ‘Dye It Red’ does have some distorted and grungey riffs, which we have come to expect from Beabadoobee songs, it has a bit more of an Alt-Pop sound to it than the first two songs on this record. This song kind of feels like a mixture between Post-Grunge bands like Puddle of Mudd and 90s Alternative artists like Vertical Horizon the Goo Goo Dolls. Even though ‘Dye It Red’ has a bit of a soft and sweet tone, the lyrics of this song are anything but pleasant. ‘Dye It Red’ is about being in a dysfunctional and abusive relationship where nothing is going right. Bea has stated that this song is actually about one her friends, and the notion that her friend is going to dye her hair red is an indication that she is finally becoming able to break free from this bad situation. After that ugly moment in the album about her friend, Beabadoobee decided to go with an interlude to transition the album to a different emotional plane. ‘Back to Mars’ is a one minute and thirty-second acoustic track where Bea is just riffing about her relationship and how she wants to visit France with her boyfriend. This is a very sweet moment where Bea is expressing that she is content with where she is at in life but still just wants to run away with her boyfriend and be free of all responsibility and stress.
‘Charlie Brown’ is the first song on Fake It Flowers where Beabadoobee lets in the listener in on some of the darker thoughts she has sometimes; it is a song about self-doubt and self-harm, and in a way sounds like a cry for help. In the past, a lot of Bea’s fans have appreciated how she will express some of her more melancholy feelings and show listeners that she is just like them, but this song is a bit more intense than most of her music in the past. The sound of ‘Charlie Brown’ matches up with the chaotic lyrical tone very well. ‘Charlie Brown’ has the hardest Alternative Rock sound to it from this album so far; It is so grungey and distorted, and people who like their Rock music to have a more gruff and harsh tone will enjoy it a lot. One may think the next track, ‘Emo Song,’ would have a bit of a Pop-Punk feeling to it due to its name, but fortunately(because Pop-Punk would not fit into the structure of this record at all) that is not the case. ‘Emo Song’ is another song that has a more acoustic sound to it. To me, it kind of sounds like a more distorted version of music by bands like Death Cab for Cutie or The Shins. On ‘Emo Song,’ Bea revisits the emotions expressed on the song ‘Care.’ This song has a bit of a more in-depth and severe lyrical tone to it, though. On ‘Emo Song,’ due to the shitty relationship she is referring to, Bea talks about resorted to self-harm again to rid herself of the pain. It is another very open and honest moment in the album that listeners appreciate because Bea is so real and always wears her heart on her sleeve. ‘Sorry,’ which is another song that was released as a single, starts with a similar kind of distorted acoustic sound to the track that precedes it. I have to say, I did not necessarily love the sound of this track when it came out, but it makes so much sense in the context of the album and it sounds great following ‘Emo Song.’ As the song progresses, ‘Sorry’ becomes less and less acoustic, with the climax of the song having a distorted Indie Rock sound that reminds me of what you would hear in emotional Indie Thriller movies. In the song ‘Sorry,’ Bea is recounting a time where she drifted away from a friend who needed her at the time. She is so apologetic because she knows this friend was not doing well when they stopped talking, and she feels guilty for running away and dealing with her problems rather than trying to help the friend out. The next track, ‘Further Away,’ keeps the slow and melodic Indie Rock feeling that the last two tracks have had. This track reminds me so much of the Adult Alternative music that was popular in the early 2000s. I can just imagine myself in the car on the way to school in 2003 and having a song that sounds just like this come on. It is so crazy and cool that a 20 year British Indie-Rock singer can give me such nostalgic feelings. ‘Further Away’ is about the bullying that Bea had to deal with while growing up which led to all of her moments of self-doubt and self-harm that is addressed on this record. On this track, Bea is talking directly to her bullies, letting them know how they made her feel and what they ultimately did to her. ‘Further Away’ is a song that is relatable for so many people, and it is yet another moment on this record where Bea connects with her listeners in a very special way.
‘Cause I’m not waiting for you. But I don’t want to hurt you. Guess that’s how my life will go. At least we’re together though… – ‘Together’
After the depressing tone of the last few songs, the mood of this record needed to be lifted. The next track, ‘Horen Sarrison,’ does just that. This track is dedicated to Bea’s boyfriend, Soren Harrison. It must be pretty trippy to be the boyfriend of a famous rock star and have her write a song about you where your name is the title of the song. ‘Horen Sarrison’ is a song where Bea describes how deeply in love she is. It almost feels like the description of a fairytale relationship; Bea and Soren’s love for each other is so sweet, and it is something that everyone strives to have. This track is a classic Indie Rock slow burner’ it starts with a sweet and slow acoustic sound and builds up into a distorted and grungey rock ballad that sounds like something by Pavement or Social Distortion. Even though this is not my favorite song on the record, Bea’s passion for this sound and passion for her boyfriend seep through in a way that makes me appreciate it. ‘How Was Your Day?’ is the fourth single that was released from this record, and it is another slow-burning acoustic Indie Rock song that reminds me a lot of Death Cab for Cutie. If you are a fan of bands like DCFC or Ben Gibbard or Band of Horses, there is so much on this record for you to love. Bea has stated that she wanted this song to have a more raw and slow and acoustic feeling so the focus is more on the lyricism, and that goal is achieved on ‘How Was Your Day?’ On this track, Bea is reminiscing on times her relationship seemed more exciting; sometimes she misses fighting and not knowing what will happen next because things sometimes seem too simple and easy now. That being said, all she knows is she loves and needs Soren, and she is very grateful that he is always there. The next song, ‘Together,’ was the fifth and final single released in anticipation of this record. It is about being in a toxic relationship but not being able to let go. Even though it seems like all the members of the relationship do is hurt each other, they know that they will not be okay if they are alone, so they just stay together; being with someone when you are spiraling with self-doubt does feel better than being alone when one is feeling this way. ‘Together’ is a fast-paced Indie Rock track with a bit of a Punk feeling to it. Sonically, it is one of my favorite songs on the record. The hook for this song is such an earworm. It is really fun to sing along when Bea belts out: Guess that’s how my life will go. At least we’re together, though! The album ends out with another sweet track directed toward her boyfriend, Soren. ‘Yoshimi, Forest, Magdelene’ are the names that Bea wants to give to her children in the future. On this track, Bea is singing about that future she wants so badly. She is imagining a world where she lives in her cozy little home with her cozy little family. This song has the kind of super distorted 2000s Indie Rock sound that Bea has stated she loves. This song has so much distortion that sometimes the lyrics are tough to decipher; it sounds like a lo-fi fast paced Indie Alt-Rock song that you would expect to hear in a coming of age Indie Romantic Comedy from early 2000s. ‘Yoshimi, Forest, Magdelene’ is a song that combines Bea’s awesome songwriting ability with the distorted Alt-Rock sound that she excels at the most, and it is everything one should want in a Beabadoobee song.
Beabadoobee’s Fake It Flowers has been one of my most highly anticipated albums of 2020 since it was announced earlier this year. Beabadoobee has truly impressed the music world over the last couple of years as she has gotten bigger and bigger; she embodies everything about the 90s and early 2000s that Indie and Alternative Rock music fans love, and packages these sounds in a way that is very accessible and modern and fun to listen to for everyone. Her music is almost like a cornucopia of everything great about Indie-Rock music; if you like any style of Indie music, there is something by Beabadoobee that you will love. Fake It Flowers more than lived up to my lofty expectations, and it proves that Beabadoobee is a rock star that is going to thrive for a long time because she can make nostalgic music and ideas seem so modern and fresh.