Album Review: GIRLI – Odd One Out (2019)

GIRLI’s debut album is one which I have been meaning to listen to for a very long time; it came out in April 2019. I knew two of the nine tracks on the album before listening, and they certainly made me excited to *FINALLY* do this listen through.

‘Day, Month, Second’ is the first song which I knew. Rebellious and punchy, it’s about how she gets over a break-up following a cheating boyfriend. Despite the very forceful manner which the lyrics are presented and the upbeat style, the lyrics show that she is struggling to get through it and that she can’t stop thinking about it. One thing I love most about this song (and much of it) is the throwback feel to the punk-rock pop style of artists such as P!nk in the late 2000s – early 2010s. Indeed, ‘Deal With It’, the opener, has been compared to ‘Sucker’ by Charli XCX – which is very high praise – but could actually be on that album and be one of the best. It’s a sign that being repetitive works at also being catchy. Possibly my favourite song on the album.

‘Hot Mess’ is another track which instantly stands out, although I’m not the biggest fan. ‘HOT MESS’ is shouted at us repeatedly, and I’ve never known such an accurate title. It weaves between, again, punky electonics with chanting (which can only be described as ‘what she wants shouted by the crowd at her gigs’), but there are actual depths to this song. She talks about how she fights against societal prejudices in simply trying to be her, calling out judgement to do with how she speaks, mansplaining, and other women who want to tear her and others down. It’s done with a sarcastic comedy which sums up how stupid these prejudices are – and although the chorus was annoying to me, the rest of the song is so brilliantly wired that it fits very well together.

‘Young’ is the eighth song on ‘Odd One Out’, and was also the third single. It feels more personal, but again, you can really see the Charli influence, through the production, the vocals, etc. It discusses the difficulties of being young – but if you listen to it, it seems to be pretty obvious. And again, ‘Up & Down’, the finale, isn’t a bad ending, but it again feels like a tribute to Charli. Maybe I listen too much to her. It’s not a bad thing to me, but it means that the title ‘Odd One Out’ really doesn’t match with what’s actually on the album.

Milly Toomey knows how to write a chorus, and she knows how to get you up and wanting to party all night long. However, ‘Odd One Out’ sadly doesn’t have the greatest amount of depth beyond ‘Day, Month, Second’, ‘Hot Mess’ and ‘Deal With It’, and is very narrowly on the ‘nostalgic’ side of ‘dated’. I would listen to more, and it’s not bad for a first album, but it isn’t going to make me listen to it over and over.

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