Singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha may have only started releasing her own music back in 2018, but her songs, and her voice, have been present in music way before that. Working with the likes of Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, Eminem, Rihanna, and Selena Gomez, Behe gained a reputation as one of the industry’s best songwriters, earning chart-topping singles and Grammy nods. Bebe is her third solo album, and continues to show the diversity of her writing.
Heart Wants What It Wants begins lightly, with just a driving bass line and gorgeously hand-plunked guitars. By the chorus, the disco inspirations have fully fledged, brining forth a danceable drum beat and catchy lead melody. This grooviness continues on followup Miracle Man, that although being slower in tempo contains just as much swagger. Themes of love and lust are thrown about in the lyrics, vague enough to be interpersonal but with enough passion to believe that what Bebe is feeling is true. Snoop Dogg’s intro on Satellite completes the throw-back feel of the song, the mix of 70’s funk and early 2000’s dance pop leading to a sweet and heady anthem about getting high. Snoop’s verse is perfect Snoop; everything from his flow to his ad-libs are uniquely him.
The style of the album diverts from this point, both Call On Me and her hit with David Guetta I’m Good (Blue) being two quintessential dance tracks, the latter taking heavily from Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee). Visions (Don’t Go), and I’m Not High, I’m In Love follow the same formula, harkening back to the early 2000’s, before Blue Moon returns to the more folk orientated roots of the first half of the record. Born Again’s chorus-effected electrics and acoustics bring a space to the ballad that has been missed on the previous tracks, elevated further by the backing choir in the choruses. The album’s final track, Seasons featuring none other than Dolly Parton, proves to be a beautiful surprise conclusion. The soft beat, airy slide guitar, and heavenly backing from Dolly make for a powerful and genuinely heartfelt end.
Bebe is an album of two halves. On the one hand it’s a beautifully pieced together singer-songwriter record, and on the other it’s a brilliantly produced dance pop album. Although the two halves conflict with each other, the results of each side are great in their own respects, no one track failing to lift the project as a whole. The features are perfectly placed, and bring their A-game, and while it’s a shame that the stylistic consistency suffers, the music at the heart of it is always entertaining.
Writer and Musician, Ryan Bulbeck has been published with a number of online publications, and has worked with a myriad of great artists, both as a performer, and as a producer. His most recent band The 295 are still active, playing shows around the UK.