Bali Baby - Baylor Swift
Most reviews start with the artists name and where they are from, but saying Bali Baby is a rapper from Atlanta might put her in an undeserving box. This album is not just hip hop, it is an exploration of pop music through a hip hop lens. It reminiscent of Grimes' Art Angel with it's brat pop sensibility and aggressive drive, but with both artists it was the underlying sweetness that really make these albums pop. Both artists have somewhat young sounding voices which can at times make it hard for their music to really shine for a lot of folks, "Candy" is a song about mass consumption blasted through this pop filter, edgy in content but sweet sounding on the outside. You'll also notice a heavy dose of pop punk on this record. Yes you did read that right, pop punk. Bali Baby at times reaches Paramore style hooks like the chorus of "Candy". Her vocals are going to come off as clawing to some while sounding transcendent to others. It's a fine line Brat Pop walks, on the edge of fun and absurdity, not everything lands, but when it does it really does. "WWW" one of the singles from this record is one of the best on the album. Bali Baby finds this balance between all her influences and delivers cutting lines through a smiling face. Even when she is riled up you can hear her smiling through every word, letting you in on the cosmic joke of it all.
The tracks where she raps are far more exciting than the others, not because they are better, but because they bring something so different to the table. "Electrical" is more of a classic style pop song, but it still claps with the screeching guitar and high pitched vocals. Not everything works like "Few Things" which ends up being to jumbled for it's own good, and almost completely devoid of a chorus. "Introduction" the first track on the album is one of the best on the track, with it;s bombastic beat and relentless flow. You can heard the big smile plastered on her face during this track, but you can never be sure if she means it, or is just fucking with you. That is the pretty amazing thing about this album, all at once it feel tongue in cheek and wholly authentic. You can hear her confidence build throughout the record until it feels like she can go almost anywhere and do almost anything. This record is wild and loose giving it a real sense of freedom. In music so often people can be put into a box, well this is one artist who flat out refuses.
8.0 out of 10