Azealia Banks’ new album has shown just how experimental she is, and how the New York born singer completely pulls it off. Broke With Expensive Taste, being her debut album after releasing her 1991 EP in 2011; has been labelled “doing a Beyoncé” due to its long-awaited, yet surprise release.
After parting with her label, you can definitely tell she takes no word but her own. Banks’ personality certainly shines through this album, with a mix of rapping and singing with funky beats left, right and centre. Her individuality makes this album almost a collaboration with herself, bringing together all her best elements from her tracks over recent years.
‘Idle Delilah’ is a fitting introduction to the album, giving the audience a taster for the carnival atmosphere which flows right through. Additionally, bringing in Jazzy sounds into ‘Gimme a Chance’ with scratching and a true 90’s touch, gives it that extra ‘oomph’. Alongside Spanish rhythms and language, it unquestionably makes you want to boogie.
Banks effortlessly adds in a particular Harlem sensation to the album, with clever lyrics and many sounds and beats, coming from countless influences from her hometown. This is prominent in ‘Desperado’, and she also manages to include elements which seem to resonate from James Blake.
One thing which is a noticeable comeback is ‘212’, the classic which played over and over in clubs when it was first released. I am not complaining that it is included though. It shows Banks’ roots and how her experimental sounds have grown and are now so unique. It is also still one hell of a banger.
Banks shows off her extreme range of talent by incorporating a Rock flair in ‘Heavy Metal and Reflective’. It has a harsher sound than the other tracks, and gives off the feeling that Miss Banks is not one to be messed with.
Broke With Expensive Taste, being a 16 track album, gives an excellent insight into all that Banks is passionate about with her music. She certainly has good taste when it comes to her beats. Despite being previously criticised for her vocals when she is not rapping; I think they are on top form, particularly in ‘Ice Princess’.
Towards the end of the album, with tracks like ‘Nude Beach A-Go-Go’, Banks releases her fun side and you certainly could feel like you are on a beach at the closing party having a cheeky time with the star-to-be, Azealia Banks.