It’s not often that you see two artists of such contrasting styles working together, but Ro and FKA Twigs’ music is as unique as their fashion sensibilities. For those who know them from their music, they are most well known for their electronic music styles which blend organic and synthetic elements. Their collaboration ‘Twigs’ marks the first time that they have ever released an album together, and considering their contrasting personalities, it’s safe to assume that it won’t be their last.
The album serves as a great introduction to their music, and while it may not feature their most famous songs, we can still hear their unique voices blending together to create some truly beautiful music.
Comfort In Chaos
While Ro’s music has always been considered more electronic in nature, the production values on ‘Twigs’ are actually quite high. The album opens with “Intro,” a song featuring a piano, guitars, and tambourines that create a very organic feeling. The contrast in styles is immediately evident, but that’s half the fun. This song serves as a great example of how versatile Ro can be, and its soft melodies and organic instruments make it a perfect soundtrack for a relaxing day.
The production on ‘Twigs’ is incredibly high quality, and it’s very evident that the artists took the time to consider exactly what they wanted the sound of their album to be. For fans of Ro, this high production value is definitely a pleasant surprise, and for those who haven’t heard of him before, the album will also serve as an excellent entry point.
The Most Influential Producer
On the flip side, FKA Twigs has always been best known for her fashion choices rather than her music. Her unique aesthetic choices and striking looks have made her a prominent figure in the fashion world. In fact, she was named Britain’s most influential producer last year. She is one of a very small number of female producers to have ever achieved such a feat.
The title of the album ‘Twigs’ is a clear indicator of what fans expect from this collaboration. She has shaped pop and R&B music in the same way that her fashion choices have defined contemporary style. While she has worked with a number of high profile artists, this is her most high-profile collaboration to date, and it shows.
A Melding Of The Fierce
Many of FKA Twigs’ solo tracks feature prominently on the album, and she has even stated that she drew a lot of inspiration from her own life. The title track “Twigs” is exactly what you would expect from the collaboration: a mixture of the artistic and business sensibilities of both artists. While its initial release was met with acclaim, the track has since become one of the most controversial songs of the year, along with Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”
“Bodak Yellow” was released three months after “Twigs,” and it directly rips off the former. At the time of its release, few would have predicted that “Bodak Yellow” would become one of the most discussed and debated songs of the year. While its provocative lyrics and braggadocio made it a firm favourite for some, for others it was a direct shot at fans of Cardi B. Like “Twigs,” “Bodak Yellow” is also an example of what can often be described as ‘savage pop’.
FKA Twigs has said that she deliberately set out to make an aggressive pop record. Like “Twigs” before it, “Bodak Yellow” is a song that draws upon influences from a variety of sources, including 90s R&B and hip-hop. As well as serving as a response to Cardi B’s song, “Bodak Yellow” was also inspired by the 2010 album Game, Vol. 3: The Dark Side by Queensryche. The band’s lead singer Geoff Tate is featured on the track, and it’s clear that FKA Twigs is deeply influenced by his powerful vocal styling. Her music has always had a dark underbelly to it, and “Bodak Yellow” is the product of that sensibility. It’s a bold move to put out a song like this as your first single, but if anyone is confident enough to pull it off, it’s FKA Twigs.
A Bit Of A Rivalry
While Ro and FKA Twigs have worked together before, this is their first true joint album. It’s not often that you see such opposing styles working together, but there’s a clear ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ vibe between the two. They are clearly in love, and it shows in the way that they interact with each other on stage. Even the music videos for their two most recent solo singles were shot in an overtly ‘coupley’ fashion.
“Panda” was the first single to be released from ‘Twigs,’ and it’s a love song featuring a duet between FKA Twigs and Swae Lee. The R&B-tinged track is another stylistic contrast to the pop “Twigs,” but it’s a song that shows off Lee’s unique, mellow vocals. Both artists have clearly collaborated on this song, as the lyrics make reference to both of them. This is most evident in the stanza that opens with, “Can we keep it real for a minute? I feel like this record is a moment/ A moment that we’ll reflect on in a minute,” which is a direct reference to the song’s hook: “Can we keep it real for a minute?”
The Influencer As Entrepreneur
For those interested in fashion, the album is a veritable goldmine, laying out a timeline of FKA Twigs’ incredible life, from her earliest days working in a salon, through to her present day. The song titles alone tell almost the entire story: “Hair Love,” “Annie Lennox,” “I’m Not Your Hairdresser,” “Mary J. Blige,” “I’ll Be There,” and “Panda” allude to memorable events and people in her life. This type of attention to detail is something that FKA Twigs is renowned for, and it shows in the quality of the production and in the care that went into selecting the songs for the collection. While the album doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel when it comes to infusing fashion into pop music, it marks an important step in the direction of combining the two into an innovative whole.
One Of The Most Important Albums Of The Year
On the subject of importance, few albums have had such a profound impact in 2019 as Ro and FKA Twigs’ collaboration ‘Twigs.’ The album is not only a massive feat from a musical perspective, but it also represents a significant stylistic change for both artists. Its unique production values and quality songs have made ‘Twigs’ stand out among the most important albums of the year. It is certainly a record that will be talked about for years to come.