âNotes on a Conditional Formâ, the fourth album from The 1975 has gone through a chaotic gestation period. Initially being promised as a quick-firRead More
Smokescreen/Taxi is the debut single from up-and-coming R&B songstress Fabienne. Despite only graduating from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts as recently as last year, she is ready to make her assault on the mainstream as quickly as possible with her brand of hip-hop influenced pop.
Smokescreen starts off with a stuttering piano sample before the incredibly bleak first lyric of I didnt realise it was summer, which sets the tone for an emotionless ode to broken hearts which falls flat amongst over-glossed production and an all-too-predictable song structure. Relying on a pounding beat to carry the verse into a chorus which tries to be too atmospheric for its own good, Smokescreen ends up sounding like a Ms Dynamite album track and is a dreary and uninspiring introduction to Fabienne.
In contrast from the downbeat accompaniment, Taxi sounds like its already on its knees begging for Radio 1 to play it on constant rotation. It may be a little too similar to Eliza Doolittle (remember her?) but comes across like a breath of fresh air in comparison to the morbid Smokescreen. Incredibly inoffensive and polite, you can almost hear the sun shining out of it with the happy-go-lucky chorus and overall positive vibe.
Fabienne is keen to point towards her hip-hop roots, citing Kanye West and N*E*R*D as influences, however the end product here just sounds like Lily Allen with less attitude and the charisma of a wet sponge. A reasonably successful but instantaneously forgettable pop career surely beckons for Fabienne, who has been snapped up to a label perhaps too early for her to show any of her own artistic integrity. However, unless she can prove that there is any substance and grit to her music-schooled talent, her lack of originality will surely burden any potential she may have.
Smokescreen/Taxi is released on July 1st through Super Recordings.
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