BARE is a testimony to what contemporary R&B-infused pop can do. European songstress Celeste Buckingham is 22—BARE’s maturity surpasses her years. Like 2013’s Pure Heroine, BARE is a stroke of genius that shouldn’t be overlooked due to age.
Defining moments with BARE
Starting with “Paradise,” an unconventionally slow track, the album shows its clear-cut intention. “Paradise” takes a stand; it’s empowering. Its fun counterpart, “Go Away,” has ballad-esque lyrics, but is built as a true dance track. Though personal, Buckingham explains that “Go Away” attacks an unfavorable relationship with sarcasm and humor. And armed with an incredible stripped pop tracking. The production value doesn’t stop after the fourth track, either.
BARE slides right into “Selfish,” an item that builds upon itself. There’s other-worldly synth going on in the chorus as the rest of the song takes you out of this world. If you’re not grooving by this point in the album, “Trip” and “Immature” are powerhouses in their own right. They each bring a different hip-hop inspired junction to add to the fun of the album.
Ballads “Rose” and “Time Is Ours” are sparkling choices for those who opt away from guttural vocal runs in their usual pop ballads. Contemporary R&B is more focused on message delivery, and Buckingham is no exception. Especially in “Time Is Ours,” the music is a carry rather than a stage for a 15-second high note. A single piano and twinkling, magical instrumentals add feeling and innovation to an otherwise simply calming piece.A track worth noting is “All That,” which takes both sides of the album (pop and ballad) and gives them a healthy blend. The beat to this one is sick, to put things simply.
Brightness from Celeste Buckingham
Buckingham’s strengths on this record play to how skilled she is at bringing the brightest forms of dance beats. She twists them to play to her advantage. The way she uses her exquisite voice through thoughtful lyrics will reach deep within the listener. The result is the cohesion behind BARE. Producing such an album at such a young age proves the bright career ahead of the performer-one that will be exhilarating to watch.
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