Iggy Azalea burst onto the scene in an explosion of ratchety goodness. Her track ‘Pu$$y’ (detailing quite explicitly how it is to eat cats) was released in 2011. It didn’t take long for the UK to get hooked on her incredible flow and ability to spit out ridiculously large amounts of words within her tracks. Don’t try to scroll through her lyrics of RapGenius, you’ll give yourself a serious case of RSI. However, her talent wasn’t truly recognised until ‘Beat Down’ was released in 2012, with ‘Work’ quickly following early 2013. It was her unique accent, catchy EDM tracks and ability to write ridiculously complex verses that had people coming back to listen again.Three years on, and she’s dropped her debut album, The New Classic.
Featuring four previously released tracks – ‘Work’, ‘Bounce’, ‘Change Your Life’ and ‘Fancy’, The New Classic immediately risked being ‘heard it all before’. I admit, listening to the album, I skip the older tracks quite often. ‘Work’ is a year old, my iTunes play count to date is over 700, did I really need to listen to it again? No, I was far too eager to dig in to the new stuff.
Thankfully, the new material is anything but a case of déjà vu.
It feels like with this new album, Azalea has upped her game ten fold. She brings to the table shockingly honest tracks such as ‘Walk The Line’, ‘Don’t Need Y’all’ and ‘Rolex’ which deal with her origins and rise to fame with ‘Walk The Line’ being almost a prequel to her most famous ‘Work’. ‘Don’t Need Y’all’ is a middle finger to all the haters and people who dragged her down and is followed up by Rolex, which deals with the feeling of being cheated out of time after a break up.
What is bound to sell copies – and get Azalea her much needed ‘hit’ – however are the tracks that you just can’t take off repeat. ‘Goddess’, ‘F***k Love’ and ‘Black Widow’.
‘Goddess’ is a showcase of Azalea’s ambition and pomp. With a heavy beat, rapid lyrics and a hook that will keep you coming back for more. Listening to it, you feel empowered, you feel like you’re on top and that’s the key to her music. A lot of the time it talks of a lifestyle you may never have, it explains her jet-setting, her labels and designers, her paycheques from MAC. Yes, she goes there. It takes you out of the life you’re in, and for those three minutes something, you’re in a private jet twerking your ass of. Until you get to your bus stop…
‘F***k Love’ Give me diamonds… Is, personally, the best sentiment from the entire album. I’d like her even more if it was ‘fuck love give me cake’, but, what can you do. Almost an ode to Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Women’ it tackles the issue of being a women making her way in the world, and quite rightly, doesn’t need love or a man to keep her going.
Despite the emphasis on diamonds in ‘F***k Love’ however, the crowning jewel in The New Classic’s very glitzy crown is ‘Black Widow’. Featuring Roc Nation’s Rita Ora and co-written by Katy Perry, the track is almost a Dark Horse follow up. A heavy beat takes precedence whilst the powerhouse Ora leads the song. Azalea is her must understandable off the entire album here. Tackling a love that has gone wrong. Lines like ‘You used to be thirsty for me, now you want to be set free’ make this possibly the most relatable song off the album too. Definitely the ‘must hear’ track.
Over all, The New Classic is Azalea at her best. Azalea’s accent is an immediately love or hate issue. If you love it though, this is the type of album you’ll have on repeat for days. It manages to tackle sensitive issues such as her background and development into a successful artist, however, doesn’t offer you any real details. The story is there but lacks personality, and that, unfortunately, is possibly it’s biggest let down. You finish listening to a few songs feeling like you’ve been told half a story. Like getting only half a joke, you’re left floundering open mouthed asking yourself ‘What?!’
As a debut, it’s an incredible start that has left me wanting more. Azalea has perfected her art and it is showcased expertly on The New Classic.
Whether it’s incredible enough for me to ‘bow down’ though is yet to be decided. I’m also left wondering what Beyoncé (who Azalea recently joined on tour) thinks of that little line though…