Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CollXtion I | Allie X


★★★☆☆

The Internet has found its new musical enigma to latch onto. Clearly a product of the pompous Tumblr generation, up-and-coming synthpop artist Allie X (born Alexandra Hughes) takes melodrama to the next level. Her visuals only exist for bizarre aesthetic appeal, and her release strategy integrates a confusing, fabricated saga about a group of "anti-X" hackers that supposedly corrupted the master files of her debut extended play, CollXtion I. However, all seven tracks were released digitally without a hitch in select countries on April 7.

Her viral breakthrough track, "Catch," remains one of her most palatable and enjoyable offerings. The purest area of her vocal range is displayed at the forefront, and the production borrows equally from both '80s and contemporary influences. Her vocals are arguably the strongest on "Catch" and opening track "Hello," in which Allie's voice glides over the glistening synths. Despite the strong qualities of her mid-range, she fancies her tinny upper register on many of the offerings on CollXtion I. The highest shrieks of "Sanctuary" and "Tumor" portray Allie as a weakened replica of Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry, and she employs a bratty shout on the uber-catchy "Prime" as she sings, "Forget what I need. Give me what I want, and it should be fine."

Minus the gritty, eccentric track "Bitch," CollXtion I is an enjoyable suite. Her smooth, sugarcoated synthpop production is wisely crafted to give clearance for her sheer vocals, but any harsher production would drown her out entirely. Regardless of her hit-or-miss vocal performance, she does follow the first rule of pop music by ensuring that her tracks have all of the right kicks in the all of the right places. She is nowhere near the cutting edge of pop music, but Allie X has made a solid step into the music industry with a few Xcellent tracks under her belt.

CollXtion I will be released to remaining countries, including the United States, on April 21, 2015 via Sleepless Records.

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