Album Review: Pillowfight – Pillowfight

pillowfight

Throughout the 43 minutes of Pillowfight’s self-titled debut LPvocalist/lyricist/violinist Emily Wells constructs verses that challenge Taylor Swift for the accolade of most innocent pop songstress. Backed by Dan the Automator’s collection of subtle ivory runs, muffled trumpet trills, and abbreviated string arrangements, Wells recounts the frustrations of a tumultuous relationship on “Sleeping Dogs”: “I can’t seem to give up, please don’t say goodbye / I’ll call you up and say, ‘I’ve been thinkin’ bout you baby and I’m back to stay’ / You were never just a memory, I knew we’d meet again / Thank you for forgiveness, thanks for giving in.” Fortunately for Swift, the darker side of Well’s past relationships, most vividly recalled on album opener “Used to Think”, eliminate her from such a prize.

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Fourteen years Wells’s senior, Dan the Automator has stepped up as a mentor for her ongoing unification of classical music with hip-hop. Dan may have multiple hits credited to his production, but no ego avails on Pillowfight, as he chooses instead to tone down his own propensity for sample-oddities to focus on tones of Wells’ voice and visceral lyrical expressions. This is certainly a project that deserves further attention from each artist.

 

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