Betty Who - Betty Album Review

Story posted February 20, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

Australian dream-pop artist Betty Who, is back with her third album titled Betty. Recently parting ways from her initial label RCA Records, Betty Who has seemingly taken the split as a chance to reevaluate and reinvent her image.

Arguably best known for her cover of the Donna Lewis classic “I Love You Always Forever,” Betty Who has had a steady rise in popularity over the course of her career. She has notably appeared on other artist’s records, such as Troye Sivan’s debut, “Blue Neighborhood,” in which she was featured on the track “Heaven.” She is also well recognized as an ally in the LGBTQ+ community and was highly praised for her remix of Widelife’s “All Things (Just Keep Getting Better)” for Netflix’s critically acclaimed reboot of “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.” Often compared to other pop artists such as P!nk and Halsey, Betty Who has had some difficulties with breaking into the mainstream and solidifying her image. Struggling somewhat with differentiating her sound, Who falls into an unfortunately reoccurring trap of unoriginality and lack of diversity.

Beginning with a somewhat lack luster opening, the album doesn’t really begin to pick up its momentum until the bright and upbeat, “Just Thought You Should Know.” Seemingly inspired by 80s electronic grooves and synth-pop, Who really gets a chance to show off her fresh sound on this excellent track, which feels breezy and care free.

However, the next track, “I Remember” completely loses all of the traction gained and feels like it was crafted to be the perfect mainstream pop song, only to end up taking a path that strayed it completely away from its goal. Who, unfortunately, throughout the album, continually exhausts the love song and heartbreak themes of her music, making each track feel generic and far too similar to the one before it, with only a few minor variations in tone and beat.

There are a few highlights on the album, however, that are successfully able to escape the album’s blatant pitfalls of lack of diversity. One of the most unique and memorable is the effervescent and bubbly “Marry Me.” Capturing Who’s voice at its most sincere and honest, the listener is brought along for Who’s wedding bell infused joyride of an unapologetic expression of her uncontainable love for the song’s inspiration. Other tracks such as the powerful “All This Woman” and the seductive “Language,” give Who a chance to express her control over her sexuality and her strong femininity.

While most of the latter half of the album feels very subdued and understated, Who is able to get in one last memorable hit with the light hearted and fizzy, “Whisper.”

Having significant struggles with memorability, Betty is very much a middle of the road album, which doesn’t do enough to set itself apart from the countless other pop albums that it competes with. Inevitably forcing its listeners to wade through an overwhelming amount of filler tracks to find the gems hidden within the record. While still able to prove that she has a powerful and infectious spirit, Who somewhat limits herself by not being able to edit and cut out unnecessary tracks which only serve to suffocate all of the memorable moments on the album.

While not by any means unlistenable, the album feels like an experience which listeners will either enjoy putting on in the background or which listeners will have to sift through to find their favorite tracks. Hopefully on a future release, Who will be able to solidify her sound and narrow her focus to crafting songs that will really give her undeniably catchy and enjoyable style the spotlight. 

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Track: “Marry Me”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Track: “I Remember”

 

 

Scott Perdue is a sophomore majoring in secondary education. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.