Allie X is a bit of an enigma. She’s been around since early 2014 with the release of her first single Catch, and offered teases of what’s to come throughout the year with no full album or EP release. We know even less about the girl behind the music, which in a way makes her plans for a multimedia project accompanying her music even more interesting as a way to create a backstory. What we know for sure is that she’s planning on releasing a slew of musical collections, with CollXtion I being the first.
When Catch first came out it was gaining a lot of attention, and it’s not hard to see why. Its catchy mid-tempo pop production has an air of mystery to it that suits the mildly disturbing lyrics well, in a way that almost asks for a comparison to any number of pop stars yet avoids it at the same time. What’s impressive about the rest of the album in comparison is that its main single doesn’t sit on a pedestal above the rest. The introductory Hello sounds like an early scene stealer, with its transitions between jumpy verses and a slower chorus full of sparkling synths and ample guitar and bass, but is quickly beaten by Prime, a mid-tempo similar in style to Catch but with a less straight-forward production style that helps it stick in your head.
Perhaps the biggest success is Tumor, with its provocative view on relationships making for some really interesting lyrics: When this is over/I’ll need a surgery/Cause you are a tumor/You’ll leave a hole inside of me. The production hearkens back to the aforementioned songs, but the lyrics help to set it apart. In this fashion, the songs are mostly in a similar vein but different enough in production and with intriguing lyrics that they stand out. The album’s lone dip in quality comes with Bitch. The song’s use of distorted vocals in the chorus and its sluggish dated production are at odds with the sleek, futuristic and somewhat sterilised feel of the rest of the songs, without much working in its favour to make it stand out in a good way
Even despite the one track keeping it from reaching complete greatness, Allie X’s debut is a major success. Its attempt to take pop music and turn it on its head works perfectly, and it’s got a mix of disturbing medical analogies and heartfelt sincerity that works amazingly well. CollXtion I is an amazing piece of work, as both the start of a musical anthology and the first proper taste of Allie X’s career.