Album Review: Sad13 – Slugger

By Alex Sherry, Contributor

[Carpark; 2016]

Rating: 8/10

Key Tracks: “<2,” “Get a Yes, “Devil In U”

Sad13, the solo project of Speedy Ortiz‘s Sadie Dupuis, looks to change pop-music culture with her debut album Slugger. This project was created to fight against the representation of women in pop music today. As a whole, Sad13 was able to deliver something special with Slugger, producing catchy songs to back up her message.

Listeners should be warned that every track on this record is painfully catchy. The bouncy and dreamlike synths reflect the loose and free flowing melodies of Dupuis’ vocals. This pairing creates a nostalgic feel, sounding like a twisted version of a early 2000s pop record. The vocal melodies are very similar to the melodies of Speedy Ortiz, surprisingly translating well to pop music, a lot of the time working better in this project.

Much like what we would hear from Speedy Ortiz, the soundscape created by Sad13 is not lacking in personality. Every track on this album help create a strange world; the opening track “<2,” sets this stage perfectly, but also sets a baseline in song structure that can feel a little repetitive as the album progresses.

The only track that falls flat is the final song on the record, “Coming Into Powers.” Everything about this song feels forced, including the rapped verse by featured artist Sammus, which serves very little purpose and feels out of place in the song and the record as a whole.  

Slugger is a great pop album that highlights the talent and versatility of Sadie Dupuis. This is not the most accessible record though; while the songs are catchy, the vocal deliveries can be unappealing for some, but that’s what makes this album stand out and really pushes the message that is at the heart of Slugger.

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