Furious drums, strung-out vocals and killer bass lines are probably what one might associate with the grunge scene of the late 1990s. But Beabadoobee has deftly channelled that same angst to find breakout success through a happenstance collab with rapper Powfu, their song “Coffee” catapulting its way to almost 800 million plays on Spotify. Sleep paralysis and alien abduction aren’t usually what you may find with someone just ‘starting out’, but Bea has built her brand on fantastical weird, Wes Anderson-esque cinematography and trippy colour grading in music videos even before her latest album Fake it Flowers.
Leading in with the song “Care”, Bea delivers great material with the manic energy that defines her trademark style. She deals belters that you wouldn’t be embarrassed screaming at the karaoke machine with the same energy that you’d deliver “new hair, new face, I’m from outer space” with (or in this case “Care, care, care, yeah”). Superb bass lines and riffs harmonise and surface the emotionally charged vocals of Bea, who truly is one of the best out there — shining with her one-of-a-kind witty lyricism and endearing quirkiness. Even “Worth It” is a promising follow-up, bringing more of the qualities that endear us to her music.
But standing in such stark contrast, the tracks’ quality begin to taper off past “Back to Mars”, becoming so tonally bland and unenthused about it all that it’s painfully difficult to classify them with the same verve as the songs mentioned earlier. Atrocious lyricism dealing with familiar themes are what stands out, with one gem being the incredibly trite “I guess that’s what happens to the best of us” in “Sorry”. Without excellent writing, Bea’s talent just seems wasted, especially with hidden gems we get in songs like “Horen Sarrison” or even “Together”. Ultimately, Bea does deliver some unforgettable material at her best; it’s just that this makes it so much more tempting to treat “Fake It Flowers” as an EP instead.