Natalie Prass was so appalled at the Trump election result that she re-wrote her album to reflect her swirling emotions. She then chose to wear a bow-tie on the album sleeve but the less said about that the better. 'The Future and the Past' taps into 80s pop, 90's r&b with some emotional ballads thrown in amongst a myriad of technicolour grooves.
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Hot off the prasses! It’s the first ever prassing of Natalie Prass’s new album! Prass the ‘Add to Cart’ button immediately. Don’t delay; as soon as you do it you’ll be whisked away from this terrible page of terrible puns about Natalie Prass’ name.
You can now add Prass to the club of musicians who had a whole album ready to go but then simply had to throw it away. Driven by the real-time catastrophe of Donald Trump’s election, she binned her record in favour of this driving pop gem, which uses armchair lounging R&B glamour to speak to the great modern confusion of our lives. You’ll hear that, amidst the woos, doo-wop piano and sparkling arrangements; amidst the grooving bass-lines and coos. Amidst the absolute joy that is listening to this record.
It’s all flourishes. All of it; everything’s swinging up or accenting, offering a little more pizazz to an endlessly pizzazable palette. In the space of those two opening songs, Prass offers two of her most wonderfully cramped songs, both sounding bombastic despite their steady, measured pace. “The Fire” focuses on the kind of upholstered choruses she does so well, offering the kind of cathartic ‘80s pomp last heard this good in Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Emotion’. On “Lost”, she offers a piano ballad of a different variety, rushing to the point with an unprecedented immediacy before relaxing the song into the kind of serene environment she does so well: strings, harmonies and a whole lot of cushions to fall back on.
You can hear the frustrations in these songs, and their lyrics, with the political conspiring into the personal as it becomes a record of personal losses and second person odes. Like many records from a songwriter tackling a landscape of world turmoil, it comes back to the protagonist, feeding into their life the way their more immediate connections do. Prass’ record is a glitzy paradise, but it’s also uniquely hers, and when you’re making one like ‘The Future And the Past’, that’s essential. This is a triumph.
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