mon 02/08/2021

Album: Mykki Blanco - Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Mykki Blanco - Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep

Album: Mykki Blanco - Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep

Groundbreaking MC showcases increasing variety on their second album

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Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep has been five years coming. It’s only a mini-album but is spiced with a range of guests, and offers an array of musical styles, the whole sound ably built with alt-tronic producer FaltyDL. The press release tells us Blanco has recently come out of a calming three year relationship, but the album is neither morose nor studiedly reflective. It feels more like a sequel to the playful 2016 debut Mykki.

Blanco may be a key transgender presence in hip hop, but rather than preaching, they prefer to entertain, and are not afraid of choruses.

The one song that does seem touched with themes of a broken relationship is opener “Trust a Little Bit”, produced by London duo God Colony, wherein Blanco’s confident – even belligerent – enunciation is a counterpoint to lyrics that occasionally sound wounded, against a floaty electro-soul backdrop. The most soul-laden song, however, is “It’s Not My Choice”, featuring indie-R&B singer Dev Hynes of Blood Orange. By the end of it, with the repeated demand that “I want you out of my head and back in my bed”, there’s an almost Seventies Isaac Hayes feel.

Elsewhere jazz is the name of the game, with Blanco enjoying things in the arch theatrical delivery of “Want From Me”, which is deep-dipped in swing. There’s a total of only nine cuts and two of the punchiest, “F**k Your Choices” and “Patriarchy Ain’t the End of Me”, are around – or well under – the two minute mark.

While there’s solid support from a variety of singers and producers, notably Hudson Mohawk’s polish-up of the poppy, observational single “Free Ride” , perhaps the two best songs are the pair where Blanco goes head to head with peers. The lewd-funk sass of “Summer Fling” is  a blast (“Your dick smell like hamsters – go take a bath”) with added lyrical kicks via Kari Faux, and crunky closer “That’s Folks”, featuring the bullish tones of Big Freedia, simply bangs! With Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep, Mykki Blanco consolidates, adding a seasoning more pop and depth-of-production to the original formula, but retaining what fans enjoyed in the first place.

Below: Watch the "visualiser" for "Summer Fling" by Mykki Blanco featuring Kari Faux

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