Album review: Brooke Candy – Sexorcism

John Preston

South London based music obsessive with strong opinions about most things. Doubts Madonna has another good record in her but would love more than anything to be proved wrong.
John Preston

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It is shocking that Sexorcism is only Brooke Candy’s debut album.

2012 saw ex-stripper-cum-stylist Brooke Candy explode onto the scene, more or less fully formed and ready to dominate a somewhat tired and formulaic pop landscape. She was the star of Grimes’ ‘Genesis’ video, was on Charli XCX’s first album and had an online hit with Das Me.

Brooke Candy’s exaggerated look was the main focus: a kind of John Waters, ghetto alien drag. But this, combined with her white-girl rap style, has proved difficult to market. And Brooke Candy’s favourite subject has also been sex.

Her idol and main reference is Lil Kim and the iconic and widely influential Hard Core album. Although Kim herself has had a widely erratic career which has dictated some 20 years later that she must still maintain a highly sexualised persona, Brooke Candy has continued to struggle to release her music in a satisfactory way.

This all looked like it was about to change around 2015 when Sia took an interest in the ‘freaky princess’ and began promoting the artist. Eventually Sia confirmed that she was helping write and executive produce Candy’s debut album, then called Daddy Issues.

‘Opulence’ arrived with a high budget Steven Kelvin video styled by Nicola Formichetti. It has since gone on to become somewhat of a drag anthem, but on release it landed like a cold turkey.

A very good duet with Sia herself followed and several singles landed – including a collaboration with Jack Antonoff. But in 2017 it was quietly announced that Daddy Issues had been shelved.

Not exactly sanitised, the Sia idea of Brooke Candy was a subtle, thinning-out of what originally attracted the star to the ‘I Want To Fuck Right Now’ rapper. Well, Sexorcism sees her return.

Brooke Candy has enlisted various Drag Race alumni, Real Housewives stars, her continued hook-up pal Charli XCX, Iggy Azalea and Rico Nasty amongst others for a riot of sex, mayhem and above all else, fun.

‘Nymph’, ‘Rim’, ‘Cum’, ‘Drip’ and ‘Honey Pussy’ give none-too-subtle clues as to what’s on offer and Candy seems to be having a ball, doing things her way and on her terms. There is an attempt to make a pop splash with ‘Freak Like Me’, the album’s most commercial and least pornographic track, and along with the more experimental electronic edges of ‘Encore’ and the Boys Noise-produced brilliance of ‘FMU’ there is enough variety here to keep everyone happy.

Brooke Candy has stuck to her artistic guns and her fans will thank her for it. She may not get the wider audience that was initially desired but Sexorcism perfectly encapsulates the freaky princesses magically perverse vision.

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