Album of the Week
Immerse yourself in the defiant and breath-taking sophomore effort, MAGDALENE
On first listen, the long-awaited second album from Brit art-popper Tahliah Debrett Barnett (aka FKA Twigs) feels delicate and fragile. From then on, it fiercely commands attention.
Detailing life’s vulnerabilities and the all-encompassing sadness of heartbreak and loneliness, FKA Twigs’s follow-up to her 2014 full-length debut LP1 finds its strength through sublime songwriting and elegant delivery. Her magnetic and ethereal vocals are combined with experimental electronic beats to create something quite cinematic.
MAGDALENE (stylised uppercase) was written and recorded over three years in London, New York and Los Angeles, during which events in her personal life – including a rather public break-up and surgery to remove tumours – made for a difficult creative process.
No doubt inspired by those troubles, MAGDALENE deftly explores faith, belief and what it is to be a woman in the public eye, finding solace in the story of Mary Magdalene, perhaps the New Testament’s most misunderstood character, at least according to Twigs.
While Twigs produced the record herself, it also finds her in a collaborative spirit, with appearances from Jack Antonoff, Metro Boomin, Nicolas Jaar, Skrillex and more, and artwork designed by English artist Matthew Stone. mary magdalene – her first collaboration with Future – challenges women to put themselves first and finds the Atlanta rapper playing the broken man seeking redemption to FKA Twigs’ woman in search of love.
fallen angel flits between something from a Kate Bush playbook and raging spoken word poetry, album opener thousand eyes tackles fear of change, home with you is distorted and beautiful, while comeback single and piano ballad cellophane makes for the ultimate widescreen closer – its fragility tinged with emboldening strength.
There might have been a five-year gap, but MAGDALENE is sublime, cinematic and well worth the wait.
See FKA Twigs live later this month at London’s O2 Academy Brixton, last tickets available here. [Find tickets]
1. thousand eyes
2. home with you
3. sad day
4. holy terrain ft. Future
5. mary magdalene
6. fallen alien
7. mirrored heart
Listen to MAGDALENE on Spotify: