Album Review: Phoenix

Arts & Culture – The Aggie

British singer Rita Ora serves mature pop bliss

Rita Ora released her sophomore album, “Phoenix,” on Nov. 23 almost seven years after the release of her first album, “Ora.” The drawn-out “Phoenix” release was partly due to legal conflicts with her former record label, Roc Nation. Her latest release is thoughtful but also unapologetically pop bliss. “Phoenix” alludes to her revival after her absence, which is present throughout her lyrics.

All four singles from “Phoenix,” including “Your Song,” “Anywhere,” “Girls” and “Let You Love Me” occupied the top ten song list in the UK — earning Ora the position of being the first female artist in the UK with 13 top 10 songs.     

The album’s release was drawn out with this series of singles starting with “Your Song,” which was released in May of last year. An airy, upbeat love song that talks about proclaiming one’s love for another, the single reflects a refreshing theme that occupied a significant portion of the album. “Anywhere” is adjacent to “Your Song” with its message, but electronic sounds heavily manipulate the melody. “Anywhere” reveals Ora’s soulful vocal capabilities. “Let You Love Me” is the most anthemic song on the album with its catchy chorus.

Ora discusses her sexuality in the track titled “Girls.” She fully admits to having an equal  interest in men and women through her lyrics: “I ain’t one-sided, I’m open-minded. I’m fifty-fifty, and I’m never gonna hide it. You should know.” The song received some backlash from fellow artist, Kehlani, in the mainstream news. Kehlani argued the lyrics were harmful to the LGBTQIA community — particularly when she sang “Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls […].” Ora responded by clarifying that her intention wasn’t to offend, and the song inspiration lies in her real-life experiences.

Pop is not the dominant genre associated with meaningful lyrics, but rather …

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