Ah, Azealia Banks, remember her? Course you do! She had that brilliant and brilliantly profane song 212, remember? Think that was some time in the 90s, pretty sure I remember her playing it on TFI Friday. Banks is a brilliant example of how not to best seize your moment- if she had actually released this debut closer to when the emergence of 212 (which is here and still sounds absolutely brilliant despite how many times you’ve heard it) briefly made her the hottest new artist on the scene then this really might have been something. As it is Azealia got sidetracked somewhat through arguing with her record company, arguing with other celebrities on twitter, arguing with her management, arguing with her bin men for no longer collecting every Wednesday, arguing with the Royal Mail for so not knocking on the door before they left that card. Rarely outside Cargill and Smithfield Foods has quite so much beef been produced from one source- hell if I release this into the stratosphere she’ll be coming after me. Standing back from it though, Azealia Banks could have never really become that big- her music’s far too weird and fragmentary to ever really be mass-market, there’s nothing here you can honestly imagine being a hit, and I mean that in absolutely the best way possible. The fact that some of these tracks date from as far back as 1923 means the album’s predictably a bit all over the place and lacks real cohesion, and Azealia makes far too many dips into strangely prosaic electro pop which suits her about as well as a Christian hymn dedicated to chastity. If she concentrates on the kind of out of the box weirdness that influenced her decision to include a bonkers cover of Ariel Pink’s Nude Beach A Go-Go then she will become a great yet.
Pretty brilliant, and you have to assume she bought the ballet shoes off Super Hands to make sure she recieved the Squarepusher CD and the wrap of speed