Album Review

Dorian Electra - Fanfare

A brilliantly coherent, hilariously parodic, starkly intellectual, yet undeniably ridiculous record.

Dorian Electra - Fanfare

On third record ‘Fanfare’, amid trumpets, saxophones, cacophonies of bombastic vintage synths and electric emo scene pop, Dorian Electra slips into a new outfit: this time, the Elon-Musk-ish, pick-me, terminally online, randomcore nice guys that despise pop culture but love popularity. “They told me touch grass outside / I told them ratio / Go cry,” they whisper on ‘Touch Grass’. It’s the perfect vessel for Dorian to inhabit, allowing them to critique modern fame: the parasocial relationship between uninhibited attention-seeking and the push-and-pull between artists and audience control. It’s a welcome tone change from the violence of the fedora-tipping m’lady boys of ‘My Agenda’, and Dorian further embraces the clownery required of pop stardom. Sexually frustrated fisting anthem ‘Puppet’ is the twisted older brother of PC Music’s industrial hyperpop; whispery vocal control sits alongside a ridiculously fun “D-d-doot-doot-doot” riff on ‘Phonies’; cake is thrown at the Leonardo on ‘Freak Mode’; and the occasional ballad always sits somewhere (see ‘Warning Signs’). Then, as expected, ‘Fanfare’ is surreal and theatrical in new, unexpected ways. Throughout, there’s a soundboard that could be mistaken for boys playing with the DJ function on school keyboards; a hilariously pretentious rumination on coffee grounds acts as bridge on ‘Lifetime’; and a five-minute eerie epic, ‘Yes Man’, feels something like a Lynchian rave. ‘Fanfare’ amalgamates the outside-the-box pop of debut ‘Flamboyant’ with the fearlessly crazed volume of ‘My Agenda’ into a new portrait of the oddities of reality through Dorian’s eyes, with catchier avant-pop than ever before. There’s uncontainable joy that comes with such a brilliantly coherent, hilariously parodic, starkly intellectual, yet undeniably ridiculous record: nobody’s doing pop music like Dorian Electra.

Tags: Dorian Electra, Reviews, Album Reviews

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