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New Music: Betty Who

By Gurman Sahota, April 04, 2017 —

Beginning her second album with hymnal inspirations, Betty Who returns from a three-year break with The Valley. The 13-track album is the love-child of synth-pop and heartfelt ballads — if 1980s electronica was modernized, it would be Betty Who. bettywho

The work features a variety of musical styles by Who, all with the capacity to be infectious. The album starts with the apologetic title track, foreshadowing its overall tone — an homage to the ever-changing landscapes of romantic relationships. As iconic as “The Valley” is as an opening track, the best song perhaps is “Human Touch,” where Who alters her usual synth-pop vibes. That isn’t to say that the track isn’t a beloved mix of her talented voice and synthetic sounds. If anything, her voice melts into the background music leaving listeners with a track strong enough to work as a popular single.

“Pretend You’re Missing Me” is one of the tracks on the album where the music overrides Who’s powerful voice. This isn’t terrible — the song still manages to get stuck in your head even if it is the musical accompaniment instead of her voice.

Who accomplishes with 13 songs what could have been done with 10 — some songs don’t hit as strongly as others and could have been cut such as “Blue Heaven Midnight Crush.” However, songs like the end track “I Love You Always Forever” exemplify the talents of the artist.

Throughout the 13 tracks, Betty Who’s dancing vocals are sometimes overtaken by the musical accompaniment, but never fully lost. The album is a good extension to her discography. If this is any indication of her career trajectory, it will be fascinating to see where Who will go musically in the future.

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