On 2014’s LP1, FKA Twigs made her mark with downbeat glitch-trap rhythms, fizzing synths and breathy, soprano-pitch vocal melodies. After a tumultuous five years since, the artist is back with her long-awaited sophomore release Magdalene.
Gone are the trap beats, and at the forefront, sparse piano passages and rumbling sub-rhythms. The most propulsive and memorable track here is Sad Day, as the glitches give pulse to FKA Twigs’ Kate Bush-isms of the chorus, “Would you make a wish of my love?”
The Kate Bush parallels are evident again in title-track Mary Magdalene, while opener Thousand Eyes is immediately reminiscent of Madonna with the harmonic a cappella layers, but this isn’t to say FKA is imitating these icons.
Holy Terrain, featuring Future, breaks up the bare, thunderous atmospheres with a conventional R’n’B shuffle, but most notably is the use of piano, fully-formed in the poetic Daybed and lead single Cellophane, where her vocal range soars to breaking point, pouring out operatically, “I don’t want to have to share a love.”
Magdalene is mix of chaos and beauty amid a backdrop of loneliness. As FKA Twigs continues to forge new sounds while remaining accessible, this record is a masterpiece.