Arts and Entertainment

Beabadoobee’s “Fake It Flowers” is the Alt-Rock Album We Needed

In her newest album, Beabadoobee creates a whole new alt-rock style for herself that shows off her potential as a relatively new artist.

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By Emily Chen

When most people hear the name “Beabadoobee,” they think of the lyrics “Don’t stay away for too long / Don’t go to bed / I’ll make a cup of coffee for your head” from Powfu’s downbeat, Lo-fi song “Coffee.” But Beabadoobee is so much more than a background vocal. Bea Kristi, who goes by Beabadoobee, is a 20-year-old British Filipino singer-songwriter. Aside from being a young artist, she is also a ‘90s and early 2000s fashion icon for teens around the world. Her latest album, “Fake It Flowers,” is a milestone in her growth as an artist, her implementation of nostalgic alt-rock having vastly improved and matured and showcasing her great artistic potential.

The 12-track album opens up with “Care,” an electric ballad about childhood trauma that sets the tone. The song is vastly different from her indie bedroom-pop songs, which are usually acoustic or lightly rock-inspired. Here, with dynamic drumming and strong guitar riffs, Bea isn’t afraid to show off influences from Avril Lavigne, Veruca Salt, and Pavement. “Worth It” and “Dye it Red,” personal favorites, follow the same style as “Care” with their lush drums and explore deeper themes of teenage infidelity and identity.

In contrast, “Back to Mars” and “How Was Your Day?” are more acoustic and laid-back in terms of percussion. These songs are like her previous albums but grungier, demonstrating her improved production and instrumentation. As she continues to expand her instrumentation styles, she dives deep into hard-hitting themes of mental health, lost friendship, and relationships. Previously, her albums were mostly about teenage romance, but with this new focus on broader, tougher themes, Bea establishes a growing maturity in her songwriting while maintaining a relatability with her audience.

Though her songwriting has developed beyond typical romantic themes, Bea still needs to work on conveying her emotions effectively and genuinely in her lyrics. In “Further Away,” she sings, “Say what you want / It’s hard cause it sucks / I’ll just pretend to give a [EXPLICIT].” Though she has potential, her lyrics are quite blunt and can come off as underdeveloped or superficial. Notably, in “Horen Sarrison,” a beautiful love song about her boyfriend Soren Harrison, she provides listeners with imagery of “pavement on the rain” and “last empty seat on the train.” In future albums, we hope to see imperfect, yet emotionally vulnerable, lyrics and a delivery that matches.

Beyond her music, Bea’s music videos continue to build her signature nostalgic vibe. Her videos are wonderfully ‘90s-inspired and use a variety of cinematic elements to effectively convey a weathered and hazy look that floods viewers with a rush of lost memories. It’s common for her videos to invoke past experiences that viewers had forgotten about. Another aspect of Bea’s music videos is their symbolism. All of Bea’s videos are shot and directed by Harrison, allowing for a deeper connection between the director and songwriter. This unique relationship allows for strategically-linked physical images to metaphors in songs and creates a fun and beautiful experience for viewers and listeners. Her nostalgic music videos help emphasize that Bea is no longer a small artist in her bedroom, but rather a developed artist with professional and stylized production.

Through Bea’s experimentation of intense alt-rock influences, “Fake It Flowers” is the album we all needed to recognize Bea’s potential as an artist. Her instrumentation is wonderfully different from her typical discography, and she surprises listeners with her exploration of deeper themes. While her lyrics do fall short in expressiveness, her album is overall cohesive and dynamic. Hopefully, this is not the last of Bea’s experimentation with production, and we look forward to seeing an even more powerful rock album in the future.