Album review: Beabadoobee – Beatopia
Lauren Jones, Music Editor, reviews Beabadoobee’s sophomore album, Beatopia
Bea Kristi, professionally known as Beabadoobee, is the 22-year-old singer-songwriter who experienced her rise to fame through TikTok, and is now releasing her sophomore album, Beatopia. Hugely varied in style and tone, Beatopia demonstrates an experimental progression from her 90’s alternative-rock-inspired debut album, Fake it Flowers. Kristy embraces stylistic variation throughout Beatoia, facilitating a sense of freedom of expression, as we join her on a psychedelic trip through her long – suppressed, childhood dream-world. Kritsi created Beatopia to escape her childhood reality; however, she felt inclined to hide it after it was ridiculed by a teacher at the age of seven. Her new album Beatopia represents her readiness to present this internal world in a vulnerable display.
There is stark stylistic variation between tracks on the album, which somehow succeed to work in conjunction to create one holistic unit, or in other words, one long psychedelic trip. Opener, ‘Beatopia Cultsong’, acts as a gateway into her dream-world. I felt almost as if I was being induced into a hypnotic state, through Kirsti’s use of a twinkly and spacy soundscape. She also utilises a rich variety of instrumentation throughout the album: notable is the elegant string arrangement in ‘Ripples’ and the syncopated percussion in the Bossa nova style of ‘The Perfect Pair’. Kristy refuses to stay devoted to one style, I think her exploration channels sentiments of freedom, openness, and a desire to no longer suppress her child-like creativity.
Her exploration channels sentiments of freedom, openness, and a desire to no longer suppress her child-like creativity
Despite sometimes simplistic and childish lyrics, like what seems to be regurgitations of instructions from a parent or teacher like “need to drink water” and “speak to your brother” detailed in ‘Fairy Song’, the album adopts a mature perspective of her childhood thoughts. This is achieved through her openness to vulnerability, which channels a mature outlook on the issues she faced as a child, Beatopia embodies healing and acceptance through the lens of a lucid dream or hypnotic state.
The album further embraces contrast by neighbouring tracks with completely different tones, for example the alt-rock style of ‘Talk‘, which is followed by the indie lullaby, ‘Lovesong’. Unsurprisingly, despite her bold move away from her stylistic comfort zone in tracks like ‘Ripples’, Kristi, of course, had to include a classic indie head-bopper which reverts to the end of a 90’s movie vibe which can be felt on most tracks in her debut album, Fake it Flowers. Although this track may be somewhat one dimensional and not anything surprising from Kristi, with its catchy hooks and rocking guitars, it is quite the earworm. This track is followed by a complete shift in tempo and dynamic, to the softly swinging melodic vocal line and acoustic accompaniment in ‘Lovesong’.
Overall, Beatopia shows that Kristy can most certainly do more than one thing; she embraces diversity on many levels using varied soundscapes and instrumentation. Possibly to the relief of her primarily indie-teenage audience, she fails to neglect the sometimes simplistic and one-dimensional alt-rock vibe of her previous work, which can be heard in ‘10:36‘ and ‘Talk’. However, unlike Fake it Flowers and her previous EPs, she successfully used these more classic Bea tracks in conjunction with those of other styles to convey her diverse and dreamlike world. The variation in her album portrays a shift in identity from the vulnerable kid who was pushed into hiding her world, to someone more mature and ready to fully embrace every part of herself, Beatopia is creative and unsuppressed.