Review: Natalia Kills – Perfectionist (2011)

Natalia Kills has described Perfectionist as such: “It’s the joy of wanting everything when you have nothing.”[1] Let’s be honest: Young’uns graduating college from 2009-2014 are righteously fucked due to irresponsible corporate activity, which was rewarded with a stipulation-free economic salvation funded by the American taxpayers.  Her collaboration, “Free,” embraces this state of economic fucked-dom, whole-heartedly.  Natalia Kills’ advocating consumer debt feels trite and ludicrous…until the chorus hits. Kills’ beautifully insecure alto breaks through with the lyrics, “I’m free.” No, Natalia…you’re not free.  You’re racked in debt and can hardly afford to pay your rent…but you wouldn’t be able to anyway, given your economic fucked-dom.

The message is poignant: The powers that be will take every opportunity to exploit ones desire to be self-sufficient, luring people with housing subsidies and demeaning gainful employment.  The only way to fight this oppression is to embrace their “incentive-based” thinking, fuse it with the wonderful gift that is youth, and spend into oblivion.  It’s a die young, stay pretty mentality, perfectly suited to fashion pop. In her words, “All the best parts of art come from pain turned to celebration.”[2]  If only the music on her record was better…

Fashion pop is not an album-based genre; it has to be imbibed in small doses, making use of the gesamtkundstwerk that is the modern music video. To review Natalia Kills Perfectionist as one would review a Strokes album is unfair because her genre isn’t tailored for the medium; fashion pop thrives in the music video and the dance club remix. Given the proper production team, Natalia Kills would have serious potential to release a stellar sophomore album.  Truly, Perfectionist is a heartfelt collection of singer-songwriter lamentations bastardized by shoddy, dance-club, demo-esque production; a sapphire surrounded by shitty, sonic redolence, if you will.

“Wonderland” is the greatest tragedy on the album.  A beautiful reflection on the scripted, fairy-tales lives we attempt to lead, coupled with a compromising reality, is spoiled by awkward dynamic shifts and a lazy chorus.  “Mirrors” suffers as well, rehashing a “Pokerface” synth instead of attempting any sort of sonic exploration.  “Acid Annie” attempts a neo-grunge reflection on domestic abuse, but favors the Garageband “Big Electric Lead” guitar setting over a Gibson.

I’ll leave it here: Natalia Kills has the most promising demo tape I’ve heard from a new pop artist this year.

Natalia Kills
Official | iTunes

Rating: 5.0/10

[1] Chattman, Jon. On the Rise: The Natalia Kills Experience. Huffington Post. 8/26/11

[2] Ibid.

[3] 5.0 on Mezzic’s rating scale denotes that the album is “Good”. The scale is skewed to be more precise on what is Good, Excellent, Very Good, etc.


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