Album Review Chloe Moriondo - Suckerpunch

There are plenty of good ideas across ‘Suckerpunch’. It just could’ve done with fewer bad ones.

Chloe Moriondo - Suckerpunch

Chloe Moriondo’s reputation has been formed just as much on the Detroit singer’s personality as their musical output. Which makes a key aspect of ‘Suckerpunch’ all the more frustrating: it often drowns in its zeitgeist-chasing production. Chloe’s got the knack for a wry lyric – “I’m a punisher / Call me Phoebe” an obvious standout – and the use of pop convention here (huge choruses, anticipatory bridges, familiar chord sequences that have long tapped into emotions) is smart. Their sideways look at fame and performative femininity (opener ‘Popstar’ referencing Christina and Britney while making like an early Katy Perry number; ‘Celebrity’ with the rhyme “TMZ / Watch me bleed out on your street”; the Aqua interpolation of “Come on Barbie / Let’s go party” that features on ‘DRESS UP’) has distinct echoes of Marina’s ‘Electra Heart’. But just as the darkness of ‘Hotel For Clowns’ with its dubstep-like chorus appears to match the singer’s vibe, the track cuts out for a single spoken word “drown”. If there was doubt as to just how post-Billie that comes across, following track ‘DRESS UP’ might as well have pressed a button called ‘FINNEAS’ for its middle eight. Elsewhere, ‘Hell Hounds’ grasps at hyperpop straws, ‘Fruity’ makes such liberal use of vocal effects its potential fun (of which there is plenty) is sucked out, and ‘Hearteyes’ sounds like how Charli XCX was feeling half a decade ago. It’s a shame, as there are plenty of good ideas across ‘Suckerpunch’. It just could’ve done with fewer bad ones.

 

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