It is very important to Brooke Candy that you understand just how much she likes sex. Sure, most of us enjoy a roll in the hay every now and again, but Candy is on another level. Sex is her primary preoccupation, her raison d’être; where most people have a personality, she has a drawing of a cartoon penis.
Just in case calling her long-awaited debut album ‘Sexorcism’ was a little too subtle for you, there are tracks with names like ‘Cum’, ‘Nymph’ and ‘Honey Pussy’, not to mention the fact that the album cover shows Candy, legs splayed, looking like an S&M lizard with half a dozen breasts.
Lyrically, ‘Sexorcism’ is dispiritingly one-dimensional. The content is presumably designed to shock, galvanise and inspire you, but through sheer relentlessness, it becomes tiresome and unwelcome incredibly quickly - like one prolonged, passion-free dry-hump. It’s not helped by a real dearth of hooks, where the chorus of several tracks is simply a key phase robotically repeated ad nauseum.
Occasionally, the production can be moderately interesting. ‘Rim’ - an ode to the joys of anilingus - features the kind of early ‘90s Miami bass sound that Azealia Banks was so keen to explore a few years ago. For the most part, though, it’s uninspiring re-hashes of well-worn electro tropes and, while minimalist backings can sometimes give an opportunity for an MC to shine, Candy doesn’t have the chops to make tracks her own.
What’s particularly ironic is that - thanks to a protracted saga involving her previous label - it’s taken so long for Candy to release her first album that she’s actually been upstaged in the arena of spitting button-pushing, hyper-sexualised, unapologetically crass bars. Over the last few years, CupcakKe has stepped up to the plate and shown how this kind of thing can be done with both technical proficiency and a wicked sense of humour, two things which - on the evidence of ‘Sexorcism’ - Brooke Candy seems to be sadly lacking.
In fact, it’s some of the guest appearances that really show how limited Candy’s range is. Charli XCX is no MC, but she does an alluring turn on ‘XXXTC,’ turning her Home Counties vowels into something more sultry. Similarly, Rico Nasty shows up on album closer, ‘FMU,’ offering a tantalising glance at what could have been.
Ultimately, ‘Sexorcism’ is lacking in ideas and appears to have arrived at the wrong time in Brooke Candy’s career trajectory. There’s always a place to explore and celebrate sexuality in music, but this feels more like a say-nothing, protracted crotch thrust to the ears. Candy’s uncompromising approach has been a breath of fresh air when providing guest verses in the past, but a whole album of pornographic paeans will leave you feeling limp.
Words: Joe Rivers
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