The New Classic by Iggy Azaelea
Despite being from Australia, her influences stem from the burgeoning of Southern rap, and it comes through on the album as her voice morphs from her genial native accent into a pseudo-Southern drawl. The only problem with this is that her voice often times comes off as disingenuous and forced, which hurts the album overall as many of the songs on the album are cookie-cutter. The album actually begins quite interestingly, with the opening track ,“Walk the Line”, showing off Azaelea’s knack for keeping her flow locked in the pocket. Despite the fact that her voice falters on many of the songs, this is one in which it works quite well and she shows off her rhythmic skill. The following track, “Don’t Need Y’all”, pulls the tempo down reminiscent of an introspective Drake track, especially the chorus. While the beat and chorus are appealing, her verses are rote, and don’t serve the beat as well as Drizzy would have.
“100” is pretty catchy and is one of the more upbeat songs on the album, but it also the first song that displays the copy-and-paste feel of this album, feeling like a T.I. jam. Speaking of T.I., he appears on the next track “Change Your Life” which feels like it’s trying too hard to be a club banger. Listening to Azaelia and T.I. side-by-side, it is easy to tell where her influences lie, but perhaps not for the best. Here, she sounds like a twangier version of Karmin (check out Karmin’s hit “Brokenhearted” for comparison).
“Fancy” features Charlie XCX, the writer behind Icona Pop’s breakout track “I Love It”. This is the closest the album gets to a hit single, but again there is no originality to it, and frankly XCX’s chorus is a bit annoying. This track would have been better with more instrumentation, and spare use of kick-drum is particularly unsatisfying. Essentially, the song has no arc, the excitement never builds and there is no conclusion, it simply flatlines.
Though the album flounders, it is apparent that Azaelia does have some skill on the mic. The young rapper clearly shows she does have a knack for rap, but her lyrics and beats just felt unoriginal and lacking depth. In her future endeavors, I hope she finds more of a voice; she has an interesting story that never really comes through here. Either way, expect to hear a lot more from this young artist.