Amaarae Writes Her Own Rules on the Sultry ‘Fountain Baby’: Album Review |

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The very first statement of Amaarae’s “Fountain Baby” intelligibly tells its listeners nan champion imaginable mounting for nan grounds to beryllium heard: “In nan club,” pinch her breathy intonations pummeling against a wall of warfare drums. It doesn’t fto up from there: For nan remainder of this Ghanaian-American singer’s sophomore album, akin affirmations ringing astir female sexuality and shattered gender norms, continuing nan themes from her 2020 debut, “The Angel You Don’t Know,” which introduced her to galore fans via her first Billboard floor plan entry, via Kali Uchi’s remix of nan album’s “Sad Girlz Luv Money.”

The medium is each complete nan map, pinch a colorful sonic palette of R&B, Afropop, guitar popular and moreover Japanese folk. In “Sex, Violence, Suicide,” echoing, acoustic strings and Amaarae’s pitched-up vocals singing a lullaby astir infatuation, but nan benignant that’s “Too overmuch / Baby, you’re nary good.” Like her debut, “Fountain Baby” besides includes a tribute to punk ritualism that serves arsenic nan “part two” of “Sex, Violence, Suicide.” Silence for a fewer seconds, followed by a sigh, and past Amaarae sings: “Don’t attraction ‘bout what I’m asking you / Just fucking show maine yes! / Tell maine I’m nan one, show maine I’m nan best,” pinch an instrumental assistance from English popular stone set Dream Wife.

Amaarae tweeted astir nan album, “My astir weighted plus and biggest correction was reasoning I was Kanye West while I was making my medium and sending a skeleton thought to for illustration 5 producers and past picking what was champion from each one.” But contempt that, nan album’s building leads nan listener to expect surprises and caller settings for her deceptively, honeyed voice.

Some artists play by nan rules, others revel successful breaking them — and pinch “Fountain Baby,” Amaraae leaves nary mobility to which class is hers, each while demonstrating really wide nan umbrella of African popular tin be.