foushee-softcore-album-review

Fousheé – “softCORE” Album Review

Story posted November 29, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Scott Stranix.

Fousheé is a name that feels vaguely familiar until listeners remember the other floating artist in the sky of Steve Lacy’s music video for “Sunshine.” This feature paired with Lacy’s undeniable limelight right now, means Brittany Fousheé’s latest album, “softCORE,” might see more attention as a result.

Dropping just last week, on Nov. 18, softCORE provides a half-hour of alt-pop, punk rock, and other genre defiance that is a far departure from her R&B roots. Having a great chunk of the youth under her spell with the many remixes of the single “deep end” may have influenced the pivot. And with such a far jump, it’s time to determine if she sticks her landing.

In brevity, this album is angry. Flipping between a brat and a beauty, calling the work bipolar isn’t a misdiagnosis. The fury isn’t there one hundred percent of the time, but is present from the opening track “simmer down.” A tempo and vocal distortion that could only find its home in a punk track let you know the R&B Fousheé you thought you knew won’t be dominating this album.

The single “i’m fine” was an early release, a teaser to clue in fans and get them ready to hear her beast inside. This album is going to split the fanbase, as it doesn’t match the soft, soulful, serenade die-hards have been enjoying and will leave first-time fans confused as they dive deeper into her older, calmer, works.

“bored” brings back the tempo in a retaliatory burst of lust and gluttony — quick drums, a wailing siren, and more high-energy distorted vocals.

“supernova” is the single that teased the album two weeks in advance. It features whispery vocals and a tasty baseline to play on the two extremes. The track is a bit monotonous if anything.

The album, while not particularly about a breakup, feels like a power trip centered around the effects of overnight success. Taking advantage of clout-chasing men, tripping off of the ketamine, and rioting inside of a Saint Laurent, all perpetuate the carefree, destructive energy.

The shortcoming this album faces, in trying out new musical styles is that there’s little to justify grouping these twelve songs beyond a mutual lead woman and some lowercase titles.

Listening to these songs in order leaves listeners with enough sonic whiplash to need an Advil. Play counts will be a treat to see which masses are returning to this album. There are great punk tracks in here and some solid R&B, but the flavors just don’t complement one another.

Another predictable but disheartening observation is from “spend the money” which boasts a verse from Lil Uzi Vert. Given his colossal pull, this track on softCORE has broken out as the first to pass one million plays, with others struggling to break 100k.

Fousheé’s spontaneous change in direction is going to make whatever project she releases next even more engaging. Will she continue exploring new soundscapes, and establish a new niche? Or will the reception of this album send Brittany back to R&B basics?

Rating: 4/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “simmer down,” “scream my name”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “supernova,” “die”

Scott Stranix is a third-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email sss5879@psu.edu.

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