Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste (2014)

Azealia Banks keeps popping up in the media due her somewhat erratic and bizarre behaviour. Naturally, this led me to actually check out her music, remembering “212” from a few years ago being a bit of a banger, with rude lyrics and intense Euro-style techno instrumentation. Broke With Expensive Taste is a bit of a mixed bag, if I’m honest. It reminds me of Lady Gaga’s debut album, which was also desperate to try and cover the entire smorgasbord of genres that can easily accommodate a female pop lead. When it works, it works. When it doesn’t, it fucking stinks. Bad.

The best track on this thing is easily “Wallace”, which combines Miss Banks’ frankly awesome, slurry-yet-smooth voice perfectly with the almost industrial-sounding clanking of a shuffling beat. Her flows are cheeky, confident and steamy; spat in that dreamy, slightly stoned yet boastful drawl. There is more in the way of dance-driven bangers, such as “Yung Rapunxel”, and there are some solid straight-up poppy tunes too, such as “Heavy Metal & Reflective” and “Ice Princess”. Unfortunately in the last few tracks the album falls off hard; “Chasing Time” is fucking tedious, coming on like a Lorde track but written by some faceless buffoon who put together the tracks on an early 2000s Atomic Kitten album, and “Nude Beach A-Go-Go” is quite possibly the worst thing I have ever heard in the history of music.

“Miss Camaraderie” saves the record before it sinks completely but it does feel slightly too late and I’m past caring by this point. You could trim a lot of the shit out of this and make a decent EP, but as it stands, it is a bit tedious.