By Alan Vinarsky
Singer, songwriter, and producer PinkPantheress, otherwise known as Lily Allen, has finally come out with her debut mixtape “To Hell With It” after her surprise rise to fame through popular social media platform TikTok. The album itself is somewhat a collection of previously released singles along with a few new songs. The structure of the album is more or less absent as this is not a storytelling album, but more so a display of her progression and development within the music industry. She starts the tape with her most prominent song “Pain” (My personal favorite), which currently sits at just over 122 million plays on spotify. She then proceeds to develop the album with some of her other previously released songs in between an array of new songs. Throughout the album the listener can pick up notes of melancholy and moody undertones as the typical PinkPantheress song includes her singing over a “Drum and Bass” beat, which she produces herself. Some have chosen to categorize her music as “Bedroom Pop”, but I digress.
Most of the songs on “To Hell With It” have a distinct sound to them, despite the use of similar drum kits throughout the album, as is traditional with Drum and Bass music. “Passion”, also a previously released single of hers, is a song in which the main melody consists of an acoustic guitar and a soft array of piano chords overlapped by a range of fast paced drums. This song notably sticks out as the lyrics shine in a “dark light”. She describes her troubles with family and friends and her apparent “lack of passion”, which is ironic in itself, as after just one listen, it’s evident that this album is full of passion. I previously mentioned that Pain has been my favorite song, so much so that it ended up as my 4th most listened to song on Spotify after 2021. In my opinion, Pain is a very near perfect song. Using her signature vocals and a drum and bass beat she effortlessly delivers her melancholy lyrics about an ex-lover all while maintaining a calm and collected tone in her voice. However not all the credit must be given to PinkPantheress as she heavily samples “Sweet Female Attitude” by Flowers. My main gripe with this song is how short it is. Sitting at measly 1 minute and 38 seconds, I constantly crave another chorus and verse at the end of each listen. This definitely helps explain the amount of plays I gave this song.
If I had to give it a number on the 10 scale, I think an 8.5 would be fair. Points off because of the heavy sampling and lacking length. One of the best moments on the album comes from the song “Nineteen”, a new release for her. The moment occurs at the bridge of the song at a minute and 35 seconds and depicts two voices, both PinkPantheress, but one is slightly louder and more pronounced than the other. The quieter voice sings “enough the lot, I’ve had enough” while the main voice sings “My minds alone because I’m alone”. The juxtaposition between these two is almost enough to mimic the “voice inside one’s head” commonly talked about in pop culture. It’s a very cool effect and displays great potential for PinkPantheress’s production.
“To Hell With It” is a great debut album for the up and coming PinkPantheress. Moody undertones, snazzy beats, and a soft yet pronounced voice make for a great listening experience even for listeners that are not exactly fans of drum and bass. I and many other listeners have great hopes for the following project, whenever it comes.