23 August 2017
Adore Delano - Whatever
I have no idea how this album turned up in my pile, I had no idea who Adore Delano was until I started to research for this review. So, a bit of a history lesson is required. Adore Delano is a drag queen who hails from Azusa, California. She is a former American Idol (where she performed under the name Daniel Noriega) & Ru Paul's Drag Race contestant, she is a YouTube personality and this is her third album. It also marks a change in direction as her previous two records were hi-NRG, clubland friendly records from the brief listen I had to see what progression had been made from her first album Till Death Do Us Party and it seems as if she has either had some sort of change in direction based on a calculated career choice or she has had some major life trauma to get to this point. I really have no idea which, the information on her Wikipedia page for recent years felt like I was reading about a person who is emotionally vulnerable. So, is the album is any good?
01 - Adam's Apple
Not gonna lie, this is a poor start to the album. Lyrically, "Adam's Apple" is an unfocused song that sounds messy at best, it lashes out from subject to subject without a linking metaphor and it sounds like a grunge Alice Cooper. It is a short punky number, but it is an unremarkable opening to this record.
02 - 27 Club
A song about the legendary 27 club, performed on an acoustic guitar and full of mournful tones and broken hearts. There is a desire behind this song, but the music is sub-Nirvana and the lyrics are once again about as powerful as your first teenage band. I am gonna move onto the next song, quickly......
03 - Butterfly
Ok, this is just a clusterfuck of sound, sorry Ms Delano, but you deserve the truth from me. It is a mixture of pop punk, sub Limp Bizkit and a bad Mötley Crüe with a Marilyn Manson chant and electronica as well. It does not gel together and it continues the confusion tone of this album.
04 - No School
Oh please, this one is awful. Especially from a woman who is twenty-seven years old, when school should be long behind them. This is a song about how bad school can be and not wanting to see the bullies again, performed to a slow grunge music that is a loud/quite number. Now, I do not want to add any more fire to this, but this song is the sort of thing that should be worked out with a therapist. Again, I will say no more and move on to the next song.
05 - Whole 9 Yards
I have to say that this one is not too bad, it is a love song of sorts with some maturity to the words that is lacking all too much on this record. However, the music is all over the place at times, making the sound a bit messy. The vocals sound like they might be singing to a different track, whilst the producer has decided to add a few more layers of guitar over the top of it. There is a better song to come out of this one, but this recording is all over the place.
06 - Pretty Boys Cry
The slow and mournful ballad is brought out with "Pretty Boys Cry" and it is as OTT as you would expect. The vocal performance is one of the most impressive of the album, the ballad route might be way forward for Ms Delano. It is a blues rock song, one with heartbreak at its centre. It is one of the few shining lights on this record.
07 - Negative Nancy
Mixing grunge with the sound of Mötley Crüe once again, Ms Delano once again heads in the wrong direction and hits that pre-teen songbook. No word of a lie, this one is a song that might have been best to leave in the rehearsal studio, not to be released as the first single of the album. Ok, onto the next one....
08 - Princess Cut
The grunge theme continues here, this time with a nod to Silverchair in places. But the final result is a bitter pill of envy and confliction that is hard to stomach, it is not something to be enjoyed and it rather uncomfortable to listen to if I am honest.
09 - Witch Hunt
"Witch Hunt" slows everything down to a crawl as the ghosts of the past come back to play, with new monsters joining the fray. It is not an awful number, but it is not a good one or even an average one. Once again, Ms Delano has created a song that is not easy to listen to, but this is by design and it is a relief once it ends.
10 - But Her Fly
A remix of "Butterfly" with a j-pop feeling, but with a few downers added to the music. It is better than the original, but it is still a poor song. Sorry, but I have to be honest.
11 - Hole Nine Yards
Ending with another club mix, this time of "Whole 9 Yards" and it goes back to the hi-NRG sound of the previous Adore Delano records. Now this is not my thing, but it makes a lot more sense. The pace of the music matches the vocals and it suits her style, maybe it is something that she should consider returning to.
As an album, this is poor. The lyrics sound like teenage masterpieces, the sort that start with a story along the lines of "X person left me, I am not over it" that you cringe at when you start to improve your writing skills. The music is average at best and damn right offensive to a rock crowd at its worst. This album is not the worst thing I have heard this year, but I would recommend to Ms Delano if she is to do another rock record to take her time, to do her homework as this record is not good enough. There also seems to be some life issues that need to be resolved here, to let go of an anger that is burning brightly and seems to have been held onto for so long, maybe this is something that might be better done in private and I hope she is able to find peace within time. I admire her for her life decisions, but this album is not a highlight in her career and for want of a better word, sucks.
2 out of ten - If only there were some quality control
Top track - Pretty Boys Cry
You can purchase Whatever on Amazon here.
You can visit the Adore Delano website here.
You can follow the activities of Adore Delano on Facebook here.
You can stream Whatever on Spotify here.
You can stream Whatever on Deezer here.
You can stream Whatever on Tidal here.
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