After five years of waiting, FKA Twigs has blessed her fans with her sophomore full-length album, "Magdalene."
Something I love about Twigs music is that although her work centers of themes of heartbreak and relationships, she puts so much raw emotion into the music, and communicates something so visceral and ancient. I guess that's the nature of pain, of emotion- it is ancient, as old as humanity itself. I also found it very interesting that Twigs got inspiration for this album from the biblical character of Mary Magdalene- I think it really captures how stories that are thousands of years old can still relate to us today- because fundamental human nature stays the same, even as the world changes around us.
Although I don't have experience with some of the things she sings about, I can still relate to the emotions she expresses in them, and I can still enjoy the experience of listening to her music.
As a long-time fan of her music, here are my thoughts on this album.
On first listen, this song sounds like someone trying to hide; trying to get away from prying eyes, not wanting to be seen. The lyrics, "It's gonna be cold with all those eyes" communicates to me the chilling feeling of fear. Although the song is about the public viewing Twigs, for me these lyrics reminded of the feeling of social anxiety; the feeling that people are always watching you, condemning you, and the chilling effect it has.
Home With You
Arguably my favorite song on the album. Like Twigs said, the strings at the end of the song feel like flying, the way they swoop and dive. This song for me is also the one I relate to the most. Although the lyrics are written with a romantic intention, for me these lyrics made me think about all of my loved ones, about my hope that I could be with them through any painful times in their lives.
This song is definitely the creepiest sounding one. Twigs is asking her partner to have faith in her love; like making a wish, it seems as improbable and unlikely to succeed. What I love about Twigs' music is just how much of it there is. That is especially true in this song. There are so many different sounds, working all together.
I think my favorite part of this song is the baseline that carries throughout it. I think this is the most easily digestible song on the album, but it still utilizes Twig's trademarks in terms of sound and lyrics, which I appreciate.
This is the most seductive album on the song, but Twigs' brand of seduction goes so much deeper; it is almost on a spiritual level, and this song, in particular, reminds me of sirens. I'm absolutely in love with the way the beat drops and the use of strings in between the first chorus and the second verse.
On the first listen, the static sounds that come in towards the end are disorienting. But then on a second listen, I can really hear how they fit into the buildup and flow of the song.
This one blew my mind the most. There was just so much that was unexpected, and I loved it so much. The sampling of the chorus, with the pitch all distorted, is just amazing. Listening to this made me feel like I was floating up, being abducted by aliens. I really get a strong sense of anger in this song. The anger and regret of a breakup. And I can almost hear the feeling of betrayal in Twigs' voice during the chorus. I also really adored the echoing and the layers of her voice towards the end of the song.
This song, for me, really got into the loneliness that you feel when you see happy couples who have found their "mirrored hearts" in each other.
The crippling nature of depression is personified so well in this song. The lyrics are simple yet they communicate so much. The way you don't want to get out of bed when you're depressed, the way your mind resorts to wishes and hopes in the absence of being able to take any kind of action. I think it is so poetic to personify one's bed as being "possessive" because when you're extremely depressed, that's exactly how it feels — like something outside of you has drained you of all your energy.
A theme in this album is the views of others, the concern with the eyes of other people on you. The line, "They want to see us apart" demonstrates this so well, and for me, this connects this song right back to the first track on the album, thousand eyes. Again the desperation comes through in Twigs' voice - which is so full of emotion that I know exactly how she's feeling, even if I've never been in that situation before.
Without a doubt, Magdalene was definitely worth the wait.