BEABADOOBEE – BEATOPIA REVIEW

If you know me personally or if you have followed this blog for a while, you should know that I really love Beabadoobee’s music. She has always had such a unique take on retro styles of Alternative Rock, which makes her stand out in today’s Indie music scene. Beabadoobee, the moniker for London-based singer-songwriter Bea Kristi, burst onto the scene in 2017 when her song ‘Coffee’ went viral. The popularity of this song ended up getting her a record deal with famous Indie London-based record label Dirty Hit. She preceded to release two EPS in 2018, LICE and Patched Up, with both receiving critical acclaim. She followed this up with two more EPs in 2019, Loveworm and Space Cadet with the latter almost winning her the Rising Star award at the BRIT awards. Her song ‘Coffee’ ended up going viral in early 2020 after it was sampled on Powfu’s song ‘Death Bed;’ this propelled her to a level of fame she hadn’t yet reached. Beabadoobee released her debut album Fake It Flowers in October of 2020. This record was widely acclaimed, with fans and critics loving its modern take on 90s grunge, Alt-Rock, and Slacker Rock. After releasing an EP called Our Extended Play in 2021, Beabadoobee announced her second album, Beatopia, which was just released in July of 2022. With all of that being said, here is how I feel about Beabadoobee’s Beatopia. Please let me know in the comments what you think about this record, and also comment what your favorite songs from it are.

Beatopia starts off in a way most people would have never expected. It is apparent from the start this album is different than her previous work. ‘Beatopia Cultsong’ has a bright and shiny Pop-Folk sound to it. It has a warm and fuzzy guitar melody and chime-like percussions. It reminds me of artists like Bright Eyes. This is a big departure from some of the harder stuff she’s done in the past, but it still sounds very nice. On ‘Beatopia Cultsong’ Bea continuously chants ‘Is it me or recently time moving slowly?’ It feels like the start of a trippy fever dream movie. Following this is ‘10:36,’ which is my favorite single released from this record. It’s also one of my favorite songs of 2022. This song is not too dissimilar from the sound of Beabadoobee‘s last album. The melody has a cozy, distorted guitar riff that is supported by a keyboard riff, and an upbeat drum beat that makes me want to dance. The instrumental has an early 2000s Alt-Rock feeling. It is a bit more poppy than most of her previous work, and I like it because it makes the song feel light. I really love the talking bits in this song, as they give the song an underground Indie feeling. On ‘10:36,’ Bea is singing about not expecting her fling to turn into something more. She thought it wasn’t serious between them, but soon realized they are developing deep feeling for each other. ‘Sunny Day’ is a track that has quickly emerged as a fan favorite. It is significantly lighter and softer than anything I have heard from Beabadoobee to this point. The melody is very low-key; it has a Country-Folk sound to it. The instrumental reminds me a lot of Sheryl Crow’s early 2000’s work. Beabadoobee always seems to be able to make her vocals sound so natural on any kind of instrumental, and this song is no different. On ‘Sunny Day,’ Bea uses the weather to describe her mental health. Some days are gloomy, and some days are nice and sunny. ‘See You Soon’ is another single that was released in anticipation of this record. It has a sound that is similar to the one that precedes it. ‘Sunny Day’ transitions seamlessly into ‘See You Soon’ because of how similar the songs sound. This track has a glittery Country-Folk melody that has a super similar tone to the song before it. I have to say, when this single came out I was not so impressed. Hearing it in the context of the record in the position it was put in makes me appreciate it more though. On ‘See You Soon,’ Bea is singing about taking time to herself for her mental health. She is assuring her loved ones that she will be ok and just needs some alone time.

‘’Ripples’ goes even deeper into that Pop-tinted Country-Folk direction the last two songs had. This one is even slower and softer than those two; the song does not even have a percussion beat to drive it along. The whole instrumental consists of a guitar and violin. This is the faintest and most intimate song I have heard from Beabadoobee since her debut single ‘Coffee.’ like usual, her vocals sound so natural on this song; she is demonstrating on this record how diverse a singer she can be. On ‘Ripples,’ Bea is singing about how difficult it was for her to reconnect with her loved ones after going on tour. She felt like she has changed and they didn’t know her anymore. Next, we get ‘the perfect pair,’ which has emerged as another fan favorite from the record. It is my personal favorite song on the project at this point other than ‘10:36.’ This is another soft and sweet track; it doesn’t have a Country-Folk sound though. Instead, this is a Bossa Nova song(Bossa Nova is a type of samba music that originated in Brazil). The song has a Latin-tinted easy-going Jazzy instrumental. The melody has such a sporadic sound but sounds so natural and crisp. This is the kind of song one would expect to hear in an old-school Coffee Cafe. Bea’s voice sounds as pretty and soothing on this instrumental as it does on anything else from the record. I would love to hear her pursue this sound in the future because it seems to fit her so well. On ‘the perfect pair,’ Bea is singing about how she is getting mad at her partner for doing something she does as well. In a way, they are perfect, because they hurt each other in the same way. ‘broken cd’ is yet another song where Beabadoobee shows off a different side to her musical repertoire. This song keeps the calm and soft nature of the last two tracks, even having an instrumental that is mainly driven by an acoustic guitar; it is executed in a different way, though. It has a melancholy R&B-tinted Pop-Rock sound that reminds me a lot of Jewel or Natalie Imbruglia. Like so many other moments on the album, this track demonstrates Beabadoobee’s seemingly unlimited range. On ‘broken cd,’ Beabadoobee is singing about constantly reliving her trauma. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t get over the things that drag her down from her past. Beabadoobee goes back to a sound that’s closer to what she is known for on her song ‘Talk.’ This track has a fuzzy and distorted Alt-Rock sound that seems like it could be right out of the 90s. The melody is so vibrant and fun; it makes me think of a warm summer day. This song is for everyone that loves the sound of her last album. On ‘Talk,’ Bea is singing about partying the night away with a summer fling. It’s a sweet song that’s easy to relate to.

Beabadoobee goes back to an acoustic Pop-Rock sound similar to ‘Ripples’ on the next one, which is called ‘Lovesong.’ This track has a heavier tone than a lot of the rest of the record. I would say this is one of the more downtrodden instrumentals on the project. This is ironic considering the lyrical content in the song. ‘Lovesong’ is a literal love song to her (now ex) boyfriend. This is a track about how she fell in love with him and how much he means to her. Beabadoobee keeps it fresh once more with the song ‘Pictures of Us.’ Like many other times on this record, it is a moment where she uses a style of music we haven’t heard from her before. ‘Pictures of Us’ is one of the biggest and boldest songs on the record to this point. It has a sound that is like a mixture of early 2000s Country Rock and Alt-Rock ballads from the same era. Similar to so many other moments in the record, the track is fuzzy and distorted, adding to its nostalgic feel. Bea’s vocals are kind of set in the background of this song: it seems like we are meant to focus on the instrumental more. ‘Pictures of Us’ is a song about a friendship of Bea’s from her childhood. ‘fairy song’ appears to be Beabadoobee’s take on HyperPop music. It is for sure one of the most experimental songs on the record. The melody is technically driven by a 2000s-style Alt-Rock riff, but it is supported by notes from a synthesizer and a heavy amount of vocal distortion. Toward the end of the song, the whole instrumental becomes extremely distorted; by the end, it honestly sounds like radio static. It is a weird-sounding track, but I appreciate how it switches up the sound of the record. In ‘fairy song,’ Bea is singing about trying to not let things get her down. She wants to focus on the positives rather than dwell on the negatives.

Beabadoobee goes with the sound she’s known for again with the song ‘Don’t Get The Deal.’ It was a cozy and fuzzy guitar riff and a drum beat that sounds like it came straight from the late 90s. To be honest, it doesn’t stick out a ton, but it is nice to listen to, especially if you love Beabadoobee’s older music. One thing that is different about this song is that it is sung by Bea and her guitarist Jacob Bugden. I enjoy the way her vocals contrast with his a lot. On ‘Don’t Get The Deal,’ Bea and Jacob are singing about the hardships of a relationship and how they can get through the hardships with their partner by taking time. Beabadoobee collaborated with fellow British Indie artist PinkPantheress on ‘tinkerbell is overrated.’ This track starts out with an acoustic sound, and eventually transitions to having a fast-paced UK Garage sound. It is an interesting and cool switch-up I enjoy a lot. PinkPantheress has a voice that is similar to Bea’s, so their locals mesh super well on this song. PinkPantheress is an artist who dabbles in Garage music a lot, and she sounds very natural on the track. I would love to hear Beabadoobee go in this direction again in the future because it suits her voice well. On ‘tinkterbell is overrated, Bea and PinkPantheress are singing about feeling like you are going crazy when living in isolation. The album closes out with ‘You’re Here That’s the Thing.’ Bea throws the listener for a little bit of a loop one more time on this track, going with a sound she has not gone with previously(at least not since the very first songs she released). This track has an acoustic R&B Folk sound to it. It has such a sweet and uplifting feeling; the melody is so homely and cozy. It reminds me a lot of music by Rex Orange County(who I love). Bea’s voice sounds so nice on this song; her soft tone goes with the melody so well. On ‘You’re Here That’s the Thing,’ Bea is singing to her partner that they don’t need to overcomplicate things; they need to enjoy the time they have together. It is a nice way to close out this emotional rollercoaster of a record.

I have to start this out by saying I really enjoy this album. I read online that some people think that Beabadoobee was too subdued and tame on this album and honed in her creativity, but I would argue this record is her most experimental and creative piece of music yet. I think this is because many fans have considered a lot of the music she made previously to this point was so fresh and out of the box. The way she has been able to take 90s Alternative Rock sounds and make them sound new has been beloved by so many music listeners. But on Beatopia, Bea shows she’s not a one-trick pony; she has so much versatility in her musicianship. On this record, Beabadoobee vastly expands her sound, proving that there’s so much more to her than what may have been previously assumed by most listeners. I love how diverse this record is. I feel like there’s something for everyone on Beatopia. I truly enjoy Beatopia a lot, and I can’t wait to see what Beabadoobee does next because the sky is the limit for her.

FAVORITE TRACKS: 10:36, Sunny Day, the perfect pair, broken cd, Talk, Pictures of Us, fairy song, tinkerbell is overrated feat. PinkPantheress, You’re here that’s the thing


8.18/10

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