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Album Review: Allie X – Girl With No Face

2 min read
Album Review: Allie X - Girl With No Face

Girl With No Face is the latest release from Canadian artist Allie X. Almost entirely written and produced by the artist, the album is heavily influenced by music from the 70s and 80s.

The synth-pop begins with Weird World. Simple drum programming and synthesized melodies are combined with an emotional, operatic chorus “I live in a weird world!” which introduces the artist’s impressive vocal range and gives you an immediate hit of 80s nostalgia.

Instrumental layering and guitar sounds in Girl With No Face provide a satisfying twist and highlight the artist’s disregard for musical norms. Her voice coos, echos and screeches as she makes her way through the song. Here, Gary Numan meets Lana Del Rey and it works surprisingly well. In Off With Her Tits the artist expresses her struggle with body image and societal expectations: Go take the piss/ I’m flat with a wit/ Not soft full of shit/ Now off with her tits. In the second verse she shares her experience of someone noticing her changing body: One day out of nowhere/ My chest began to rise/ He noticed in the shower said he liked it and I cried. The powerful and introspective lyrics highlight the judgment and ridicule often faced by women.

John and Jonathan catapults you back to the New Order era. The tense rhythm, robotic synths, and Kraftwerk-esque melodies carry the artist’s voice. She observes the friendship of John and Johnathan – two men the artist met at one of her gigs in New York City. Recalling 80s Madonna, Galina is a perfect pop song that modernizes classic pop styles. Black Eye is a darker Halloween bop but still very much pop adjacent. Hardware Software is more experimental – featuring skittish computer game sounds, electric organs, warbles, and whirls.

If the album falls down at all it’s towards the end, but not by much. The production stays tight and the songs remain joyful and exciting. Saddest Smile is beautiful and poetic, featuring gorgeous vocals and range.

Girl With No Face might be labeled retro-pop, electro-pop, art-pop, synth-pop, post-punk, or just pop –  Allie X doesn’t seem to mind. Her embrace of the pastiche, however, does little to dilute the product. The artist’s refusal to be regular makes this album really stand apart.