Last year, FKA twigs burst onto the scene with easily one of the ten best albums of 2014, “LP1”, and it’s not really hard to see why. On this record, she offered up some of the most creative and experimental pop and R&B music on the planet, featuring indescribably vast and glitchy production held together by certifiably catchy songwriting. It’s no wonder why it has held up as an obvious highlight from last year, and just a year later FKA twigs is back with this short, 5 track EP that could possibly (hopefully) act as a precursor to an upcoming album. Well, if this project acts as a taste test for anything coming soon, we know one thing: it’s gonna be pretty fucking good.

While “LP1” had a lot in common with pop music in that no matter how strange the sounds got, it still stayed somewhat true to conventional song structure and put a lot of emphasis on hooks, this album drifts pretty far from all of those pop sensibilities. There is no “Two Weeks”, “video Girl”, or “Pendulum” on here. The sounds here are just an absolute mindfuck no matter which way you slice it, from the glitchy and unstable drum rhythms, to the random shots of indescribable noises that just keep you on edge for the entire album. And surprisingly, due to the care that this project was made with, all of this unpredictability and strangeness works as a serious strength. It keeps the album engaging through the sheer darkness and moodiness, and above all, sense of place. If you’ve ever listened to FKA twigs before you’d know that her music tends to be pretty erotic and sensual, and in a way, this EP keeps with that feeling, except instead of sounding like making sweet (albeit weird) love, sounds like a dark underground sex chamber, and while on first listen you’re shocked at the goings on, upon further listening you find it inviting. Like Christian Grey’s “playroom” where he keeps his “XBox and stuff”.

This EP isn’t all weirdness though. While it definitely takes a little bit of getting used to, and lacks the pop appeal “LP1” had, once you get your head around the sounds here you start to dig up some really great songwriting that remains at the core of Twigs’s music. “Mothercreep” features some gorgeous singing and really beautiful synth tones that keep this song among the most melodic here, and “Glass & Patron”, while maybe being the  most abstract song on this thing, features a killer hook. (“One, two, three… now hold that purse for me.”) This song actually bangs a little bit with the deep bass drum hits, and really stands out as a creative highlight of Twigs’s young career, as does this whole EP.
“M3LL155X” is pretty perplexing in nature, but really, that stands out as one its best qualities. Due to the great songwriting and immaculate production, FKA twigs (and producer Boots, who helped make Beyonce’s last album dope as fuck) manage to make the weirdest sounds strangely inviting and replayable. Not every moment goes over all that well, as “In Time” stands out as a bit of a pothole with the obnoxiously pitch shifted vocals, but overwhelmingly, “M3LL155X” is very, very good. And if you want to dive in head first, here’s a video to start.
4 stars
Standout Tracks: “I’m Your Doll” “Glass & Patron” “Mothercreep”
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