Written By: Sam Marshall
Originality: (3 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (3 / 5) Lyrics: (2 / 5) Production: (4 / 5) Average: (3 / 5)
Betty Moon’s 2017 release Chrome is an extensive foray into multiple genres and sounds. The album itself is a really well crafted piece of work. The production is exceptional, and the sonic quality is great. This is also, however, its main drawback. Moon’s vocals and instrumentals are 100% on the money, but that is it- the whole thing feels really overproduced, almost plastic. In much the same way that Taylor Swift has become one-dimensional and static, Chrome feels like it is unable to breathe.
While the music really feels on point, the lyrics feel like an afterthought; and there is no real deep meaning. The lyrical writing throughout is very twee and somewhat generic, almost naïve. “Put your hands up and let it take you down/don’t you underestimate the speed of sound” is an idea that we’ve heard so many times before, and the music isn’t unique enough to excuse the lyrics unfortunately. Comparatively, some of Moon’s contemporaries are trying to move away from a one-sidedness in their music and trying to inject more meaning. For example, in Charli XCX’s Boys, the concept of her sexual attraction to the “boys” is conveyed by applying the same sexualisation of them as we normally see applied to women. In this way, she is making a challenging, bold statement. Chrome, on the other hand, has nothing like this other than some middle of the road popsongs. “Believer” is one of the album tracks that really stands out, certainly compared to the rest of the album.
It might sound like I am being a bit harsh on Betty Moon, but if the same level of work was applied to the vocal writing as the production, then I would be praising the album. As it is, it is a good-sounding album, and I expect it will do well. In much the same way that Taylor Swift, and Tove Lo are dominating the middle ground in pop music, with essentially easy listening, modern background music, Betty Moon will fit right in, I just think she could strive for a lot more.