Bubblegum by Elle Lexxa
11 Feb 2022
If you want a crash course in how the music industry is changing dig in to Elle Lexxa. This is an artist whose rise and success has been, to date and will continue to be, heavily if not primarily defined by their Instagram and Tik Tok following. Initially recognised for her fashion and jewelry focused social media presence Lexxa has, this week, released her debut EP, Bubblegum. What does a self proclaimed '18th C Hot Girl' actually sound like?
From the outset Bubblegum struggles to make a specific impact. Opening track Vacancy opens with a funky bass riff that continues through most of the song but before long becomes lost in a confusion of manic high hat, synth strings and ambiguous vocal samples. During the second verse the strings come in for a sharp little fill that doesn't seem to go anywhere but that's soon forgotten when Lexxa starts to rap. You heard me correctly.
Pink Walls has a catchier structure, if we turn a blind eye to the spoken word portions, but production isn't sure what it wants to be. Electronic vocal filters are placed alongside baroque influenced keyboard melodies. The snare has a very unique quality in that I can still hear it assaulting my eardrums 20 minutes after the song has finished.
By Liquorice it has become apparent that the reason this record isn't breaking any boundaries is because Lexxa isn't trying to break any boundaries. The whole production sounds as though it was a project to fill time between breakfast and lunch. The definition between various parts of the compositions are vague which, for a pop song especially, affects it's longevity. None of the choruses are defined enough to be memorable and the same criticism could be made of many of the verses.
The EP closes with Obsessed which is backed by an arrogant rendition of In The Hall Of The Mountain King. The exact interpretation changes throughout as does the filter on the keys but we do get a grand organ piece mid way through to emphasise the intended gothic nature of the song. Everything comes to an end as the tempo drops the vocal samples are stretched out and we are given a bit of time to gather our things so we can get on with our lives.
Elle Lexxa's Bubblegum is at best a half hearted effort to try and become a popstar. The vocals do not flow easily and the lyrics are forgettable. There is a strong suggestion that a different producer was used for each track but they all walked out mid way through leaving an incongruous and unfinished collection of work. If pop music is Lexxa's passion she should spend 15 times as long on her next release and try to inject some soul in to it. Take a listen and let me know if I'm wrong.