This week saw the release of Pattinson’s third solo studio album, Watermelon Sugar, a follow-up to 2016’s self-titled record. The album, which was produced by Mike Willmer, features 12 new tracks and a guest appearance from Halsey on the bouncy new single “I Don’t Need Love,” which features an upbeat tempo and infectious chorus. The album also includes the single “Mermaid,” which was released in February and has been getting lots of rotation on radio station playlists. It blends retro synths with a modern pop beat, an old-school vibe that will be familiar to fans of the English singer-songwriter Rod Stewart. The album also marks a major departure from Pattinson’s previous work as a co-founder of the British band, Porno Star, and its subsequent breakup in 2015.
A Bit of an Unexpected Release
When Watermelon Sugar was announced as a release date, many fans were surprised as it was initially believed to be a compilation album of BTS material or perhaps a greatest hits collection. However, when the album was actually released, it was discovered to be a brand-new album, which made it the singer’s first project in three years since his self-titled record. In fact, aside from some older demos, the album was entirely produced using music software and was entirely a solo effort. The result is a raw and real sound that is unlike anything the singer had previously put out.
A Major Departure From The Sona Dance Party
Though Robert Pattinson’s solo career hasn’t garnered the success of his band BTS, it’s still gotten off to a decent start. With Watermelon Sugar, the singer finally carved out a niche for himself as a pop artist, a distinction that was previously reserved for the group. Moreover, rather than sticking with the tried and tested path of churning out party anthems in the style of BTS, Pattinson set out to experiment with new sounds and collaborate with up-and-coming artists. As a result, Watermelon Sugar sports an eclectic range of collaborations, from indie artists like Halsey and Justin Tranter to pop stars like Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth.
An Album That’s Dark Yet Modern
While there are plenty of upbeat pop songs on Watermelon Sugar, there’s also a sense of darkness that permeates the album. Its title, which was inspired by the album’s lead single, is a bit of a clue as to what the record is like. The song, which was written by Ben Moody, explores the aftermath of a toxic relationship and how the protagonist is struggling to move on. “Toxic” is the keyword here and there’s an undercurrent of menace that emanates from every track. “If you’re looking for light, you’re in the wrong place,” Pattinson warns before intros to “Mermaid” and “I Don’t Need Love” begin. It’s an interesting musical juxtaposition and a bold move from a traditionally light-hearted artist. Though the average listener might not necessarily pick up on it, the album’s creator was obviously aware of the juxtaposition and even embraced it. As he told Rolling Stone: “I think it’s about time that somebody spoke my language. I’ve always been a bit of a delinquent, a bit of a wild man, and I suppose that comes across on the record.”
The Album’s Standout Tracks
Standout tracks on Watermelon Sugar include the haunting lead single “Mermaid,” which was released in February. The track was co-written by Pattinson and Lindy Robbins and combines retro synths with a modern pop beat. It’s an infectious tune that will have you tapping your toe (or shaking your hips, depending on where you are) along with the music.
Then there’s “I Don’t Need Love,” the pulsating single that was released this week. It was co-written by Pattinson, Mark Burton and Henry Oliver and fuses an indie rock sound with modern production values. The track, which is named after the aforementioned guest appearance from Halsey, has an old-school R&B vibe that will be familiar to fans of Stewart. Halsey’s vocals contrast beautifully against the languid, slow-burning production and the song continues to be a live favorite on the singer’s concert tour this year. If you’re a fan of R&B and hip hop, this track is definitely for you.
Another standout track is the sombre title track, which was written by the legendary Stevie Wonder and has a beautiful, soaring melody. It’s an ode to love that is as heartfelt as it is thoughtful. Pattinson’s voice soars through the track, which was produced by Mike Willmer, and it will leave you feeling both inspired and comforted.
Then there’s also the album’s closer, “The Ending,” which is a beautiful, melancholy song that could be construed as the album’s centerpiece. It was co-written by Halsey and Charlie Puth and fuses a more electronic sound with an acoustic guitar. Once again, Halsey’s vocals soothe the savage beast within and help make the piece as memorable as it is moving. This is the kind of record that makes you want to go back and listen to it again and again. It’ll stick with you for a long time. At the very least, it will leave you with beautiful, unforgettable memories.
Ultimately, Watermelon Sugar is a remarkable record from a musical genius. Its creator, Robert Pattinson, has crafted an eclectic collection of songs that defy easy genre classification. Its 12 tracks veer from retro synths to modern pop beats and everything in between. Moreover, he’s collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Halsey, Charlie Puth, and Mark Burton. It’s an incredible solo debut and an album you don’t want to miss.