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Self Esteem - 'Prioritise Pleasure' Album Review


1. I'm Fine

2. Fucking Wizardry

3. Hobbies 2

4. Prioritise Pleasure

5. I Do This All The Time

6. Moody

7. Still Reigning

8. How Can I Help You

9. It's Been A While

10. The 345

11. John Elton

12. You Forever

13. Just Kids

This is unashamedly a Pop album with lots of experimentation and lots of interesting and challenging soundscapes. The lyrics are powerful, hard hitting and very well crafted. The themes are varied but could be best be summed up as what it’s like to be a woman in the world. As is the case with all good Pop music there is a hint of rebellion, sometimes much more than a hint, with the feeling that this is an artist who wants to write their own story and not follow in someone else’s footsteps.

The focus is on relationships, the behaviour of men (and how it can improve but also making it clear bad behaviour is not just a male preserve), how hard it is to deal with relationship breakdown, how people need to learn to treat each other better and why we need to all respect who we are and accept others without imposing our own projections on how people should behave while acknowledging we all have to take responsibility for our actions and deal with the consequences of how we treat others.

The ambition on show in this album is tremendous, this is an artist trying to push themselves and challenge the boundaries of what Pop is and what it can be. The sheer raw emotion in some songs is surprising and it feels like we are let inside some very strong personal issues.

It’s not often you get an album that makes you want to move your body and also does its best to make you think and challenge yourself and your approach to other people.

I’m not sure every song works 100% for me but I do think this works as a piece of work and made me want to keep listening. At one point I thought one song was going to morph into Whitney’s ‘It’s not right but it’s okay’ but the message of this album is much less accepting of being treated badly than that song, it’s more confrontational and more determined things should change, an admirable and necessary message which shouldn’t still be needed but unfortunately is.

I’ve no idea what the artists ambition is but it feels like there are no limits to where she might want to go.

Review - Iain McClay


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