Album Review: Beatitudes
Cordova Bay Records (2016)
Beatitudes is the sophomore studio effort from Swiss-Canadian, Vancouver-based musician Rykka.
Beatitudes departs from the alt-rock sound of Rykka’s previous album, Kodiak, to a more Euro-pop flavour.
The album’s opening song, “Movies,” does the job of easing listeners into the ‘80s pop and ‘90s Euro dance-influenced sound, which can grow tiresome for some.
If Beatitudes were an EP of around four or five songs, it might be a different story. It would make for a more appropriate bridge between Kodiak and a new album, as both are distinctly different.
A musician departing from the style they’re known for isn’t unheard of, and isn’t a problem if it’s done properly. For example, if Beatitudes matched the quality on each song to that of the lead single, “Blackie” from Kodiak, then it would be a much better album.
But for nine songs, an acoustic rendition of the album’s opener, and a very unnecessary remix to put the cherry on top of the metaphorical sub-par fruitcake, Beatitudes is a chore to listen to after track five.
Rykka sounds as if she were a family-friendly Miley Cyrus fresh from an intervention hosted by Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes and the Vengaboys.
For the most part, the lyrics on Beatitudes are cringe-worthy.
On “Ghosting,” the lead-in lyrics to the chorus are: “Keep this secret, that we’re going, going gone, we’re ghosting, gho-gho-gho-gho-ghosting, don’t say goodbye.”
“Runnin’ Away,” “100 Years” and “Last Of Our Kind” all build on the theme of running away from someone or someplace oppressive, towards freedom and a better tomorrow.
This repetitiveness in subject matter and lyrics might suggest that this album was a rushed project.
As the kids say, this album is whack.