Album Review: FKA twigs – CAPRISONGS

By: Grace Koennecke, Staff Writer

[Atlantic Recording Corporation; 2022]

Rating: 7/10

Key tracks: “meta angel”, “tears in the club (feat. the weeknd)”, “oh my love”, “papi bones (feat. shygirl)”

After a tumultuous year of exposing her abusive relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf, FKA twigs is back to redeem herself. She’s at her most confident, creative and eccentric on her newest mixtape, reverting to her R&B roots while also incorporating an early 2000s sound with a touch of Latin and Afrocentric influences. Sonically worlds apart from her 2019 predecessor MAGDALENE, this mixtape brings the spunk that FKA twigs is known for, along with an electronic sound and a healthy dose of psychedelic interludes and voice memos. 

Read more: “Your Favorite Artist is an Asshole: Shia LaBeouf Edition”

CAPRISONGS starts off with a clicking sound, symbolizing the beginning of a physical mixtape with “ride the dragon”, where FKA twigs talks softly into the mic, seducing the listener into hearing a conversation between herself and “the dragon”. In this case, it could allude to a new love interest in the world twigs has created. It’s sensual and accompanied with the angelic pulling o2f harp strings to put one in a trance by the end of the track. After the first couplet of tracks, “meta angel” opens with a voice memo of FKA twigs saying she wants to become more confident, as well as her questioning the universe’s ways, making a lasting impression after each listen.

This song quite literally is about struggling to find confidence and grasp what you really want in your life. Alluding to internal voices of self-doubt, this may be one of the most vulnerable on the mixtape. The chorus itself is a cry for a sign from above, for someone or something to come rescue twigs from the negative voices in her head. Overall, it visualizes the hardships of being in the music industry and the high expectations it holds for artists.

In the middle of the mixtape, “tears in the club (feat. the weeknd)” is the perfect song to cry to while on the dance floor. The duo sings of suppressing their emotions to avoid coming to terms with the destructive nature of the relationship they share. With a distinct R&B sound, this track exemplifies the desire of wanting to give into people that could end up destroying you and being hypnotized by the darkness they emit. After a thorough listen, FKA twigs could be hinting at the way abuse and manipulation can blur the line of what is right and wrong between two people, creating a heartbreakingly captivating club anthem.

Right after comes “oh my love”, the realization that the person you love doesn’t feel the same back, nor do they want to admit it. From twigs’ point of view, she’s the one in love. She is the one who wants to hear the truth from her lover, admitting that she could be with anyone, but wants to be with them instead. Chanting that resembles something you’d hear in a Spice Girls song is present throughout the track, and ends with one of twigs’ friends telling her not to let anyone control or use her, and to find love within herself. The sentiment of loving yourself allows the song to be full of self-empowerment and reassurance for those who have been in a similar situation as twigs.

“papi bones (feat. shygirl)” is the Afrocentric funk sound that twigs has finally added to her repertoire. This track is one that will get you on your feet as soon as the subtle hint of sirens and bongo drums produce a beat that reminds you of the humid, carefree nights of summer. Shygirl’s impressive DJ skills make the song one of the more upbeat and illuminating of the whole mixtape, void of any gray feelings of anxiety or sadness that once consumed the overall vibe of the tracklist. It’s one of the more unique-sounding songs from the genius of FKA twigs and puts her willingness to expand in her sound on display.

While this may be one of FKA twigs’ strongest works, there are still songs that don’t flow well amongst the other tracks, with the themes of revival and self-reflection being almost drowned out with the overuse of synths and repetitive beats. Also, 17 songs is almost too long of a duration for this mixtape, especially since multiple tracks act as minute-long interludes. If the tracklist were a little shorter, the singer would’ve hit the nail on the head. 

CAPRISONGS is FKA twigs experimenting as a woman in her early thirties in an industry that has become repetitive and motivated only by streaming numbers and album sales. What the singer brings to the table in this mixtape is her fearlessness and refusal to conform to the typical sounds of electronic pop. While there are some unnecessary tracks lodged in between songs that are highly intoxicating, the electrifying vocals and witty sucker-punch of lyrics allow its composition to be taken seriously. 

Listen here: CAPRISONGS by FKA twigs

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