R&B is overflowing with vocalists who are able to snatch the spotlight in a heartbeat; Gallant broke through with “Weight in Gold,” Khalid became an overnight sensation with “Location,” SZA achieved platinum status with “The Weekend.” So where does that leave those who aren’t able to have their recording previewed on Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat?
Enter Blaise Moore, one of numerous singers who don’t have the luxury of celebrity endorsements to obtain the attention they warrant. If you searched up the word “tragedy” in the dictionary, the amount of people who even know Moore exists would appear next to it, but what can you expect in a world diseased with social media and instant gratification? These modern-day “improvements” are notorious for keeping underground artists in the shadows of the mainstream, but that’s an article for another day.
Moore has broken the barrier between new fans and the emerging nonetheless, attracting 126,000 people on Soundcloud to listen to “HANDS” from her first EP “LONDON.” That’s not the only track worth listening to, though; “LAURENCE,” which is composed of all of “LONDON”’s five songs plus two other recordings, reconciles concupiscence through pique and cognizance, but is degraded by amateur, antithetical lyricism.
Everyone is familiar with, or knows about, the infamous one-night stand, but not many are willing and able to personalize the event, surmount the notoriety to something that transcends its blasé connotation. Moore does just that in the introduction of the EP, named “LGW” after the London airport where she was left devastated by ex-inamorato Laurence.
“Revenge-pop at its finest,” Billboard headlines Moore’s music, but it’s more than a mere vent to the baggage left from a tumultuous past, or at least this track off of “LAURENCE” is; Moore sings with a silver tongue when she recognizes and regrets, “Put my heart on a plate/ And I served it to you.”
Call her words orotund, but her niche for melodrama rivals that of a screenwriter, making it no wonder why Moore initially wanted to be employed as an actress. Creation and execution go hand-in-hand after all, but I digress. The exposition to the story of Moore’s calamitous former lover is equivocal enough to make her music applicable to anyone who’s suffered a fling and yearned for more, but maintains a creative authority through idiosyncratic lyrics such as, “Should’ve never got on that plane,” that distinguish her music as her own narrative instead of everybody else’s, not to mention the title of “LGW” itself.
The irrevocable psychotic toll relationships take is blatant on Moore’s most popular song “HANDS,” where she attempts to fathom (and consummates) the ambiance of “getting lost in the fluidity of a relationship,” according to Noisey. The production doesn’t divert from the vulnerability of the Interscope signee, however, who’s stripped of the emphatic tone of “LGW” for one more frankly elegiac (“And I can’t listen to your voice no more/ Without opening old wound oh oh.”)
The dolor takes a sharp turn, almost to the point of contradiction, on “FRIENDS,” where Moore asininely regurgitates the line, “Boy, you can be my friend,” words only a dilettante could be pardoned for. The stark contrast between the two pieces is the epitome of hypocrisy at most, one driven by profound melancholy and the other executed through trivial mantras.
If not for Moore’s consistency in broaching the mentality love warrants (“Thoughts in my brain turned me to a f***ing killer.”), it wouldn’t be hard to imagine someone scoffing at the irony of the two songs; the misconstrued idea that “HANDS” and “FRIENDS” are about two wholly different lovers wouldn’t seem far-fetched.
The sixth track of the EP is one that prompts ambivalence as well; “F*** IT” is tainted with teenage angst, prevalent in the form of masochistic but kitsch lines: “But I like the taste of poison/ Yeah, it’s kinda salty.” It’s farcical enough to eclipse the haunting imagery, seldom seen from developing singers, present as Moore fades out, “Yeah, I’m drownin’ in a pool of lust,” and simultaneously nail the coffin in for “LAURENCE” as the stereotypical debut of any artist: lackadaisical and gauche, glimmering only with a few moments of polished material.
(Album rating: 6.7)