Following her EP on Fade To Mind, D∆WN returns to Local Action with a new album in tow, completing the trilogy after GoldenHeart and Blackheart. Redemption’s lead single “Renegades” sees her “Not Above That” producer Machinedrum return to collaborate on more exuberant electronic-R&B where vocal harmonies, anthemic horns and skittering percussion coexist in an ecstatic utopia of explosive colour. Dawn Richard’s Danity Kane days are long gone.
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D∆WN continues and completes a hot streak of pop records with ‘Redemption’, following up the phenomenal ‘Blackheart’ as far as is possible. Having recently soaked in the bliss of his record ‘Human Energy’, it doesn’t surprise me to hear that Machinedrum helps out with the production, considering the trap euphoria, the motorway breeze drops and the fluorescent synth lines that defined his recent celebration of life. These sounds all complement D∆WN’s songwriting rather beautifully, whether she’s finding space to ruminate between the ecstasy or jumping on board with it.
“Love Under Lights” is a lovely example of the former, with the huge, skittering climaxes of synth wash being evolved coming back down for calmed verses and, at the end, a warped and wonderful breakdown of rewound voices and disparate percussion. On “Voices”, D∆WN writes story in brief mantras that skit between the bombastic sounds around her, somehow compacting them with a central vocal melody far more languishing and patient. Moments where she breaks into something more sonically simple such as the slow, riffing “Hey Nikki” prove to be necessary respite from a record of full on pop euphoria, but D∆WN’s performance is, amidst the fumes of electronics, always centering -- she seems to distort her vocal on “Tyrants” before bringing it in clear, juxtaposing so as to elucidate.
For a record that sounds, initially, quite set in a mould, this record twists a lot of plots. “Lilles” is a gorgeous song evolving from a boisterous slow jam into an arpeggiated slice of euphoria, marking one of the most beautiful pop switch-ups of the year. “The Louvre” is a burning epic made from an ominous marching beat and ascendant string moans. Such is D∆WN’s way: she makes music that speaks to narrative, building and tearing down stylisations as far as they serve the tower of pop.
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