Music Review: Kim Petras – Turn off the Light

Raymond Barth, Staff Writer

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Kim Petras delivers the second installment of Turn Off the Light, a spooky and catchy electro-pop record that’ll get in your head.

Kim Petras is a singer-songwriter from Germany who’s been releasing music under that name throughout the 2010s. While Kim has received some commercial success in the past, it wasn’t until this record she caught my attention. Going into this record I had no expectations considering her last record, Clarity, didn’t do much for me.

The album kicks off with an instrumental intro, which I think is necessary as the production of this album is heavily inspired by synth-wave and other electronic genres. On the intro, Purgatory, you have Kim’s vocals harmonizing over this orchestral composition on the buildup to one disgusting beat drop. The track turns into a dark mix of multiple EDM genres, setting the tone for the rest of the record. This track transitions into There Will Be Blood, which does a great job of continuing the momentum of this in-your-face production. This is arguably the best song off this record; Kim delivers excellent vocals and the chorus is pretty catchy considering it’s placed on top of this instrumental. You can apply this to a majority of the record as well. It’s pretty impressive to hear this blend of synth-wave, pop, and bubblegum bass come together nicely. This combination of genres mostly results in these monstrous pop bangers like the first two tracks. Also, the multiple interludes on this project do an excellent job at maintaining the vibe of this record. Most of these tracks are where you find these EDM bangers as well.

This album isn’t flawless by any means. Even though I do enjoy it quite a bit, there’s a couple of issues. This album feels a little rushed at points, and some ideas don’t feel fully fleshed out, like the song Massacre. It’s unfortunate because I think Kim delivers an excellent vocal performance with a catchy melody, but the instrumental is lacking the bite of the previous tracks. While this may have been on purpose, it runs the momentum with the kick-snare beat disappearing and returning on the next track Knives. There’s also the chorus on Death By Sex: “Death By Sex, I’m gonna give it to you best, sex sex sex, death by death by sex.” I’m just saying, you couldn’t have thought of something other than “sex sex sex?” Oh, come on.

The last leg of this record feels rushed too. Many of these songs feature some lazier production work in my opinion. The vocal effects on In the Next Life in one sense help push the concept of the album, but on the other hand, sound rough. I will admit that I immediately dislike songs with some vocal filters or FX, so I could be biased in this instance. The final song, Everybody Dies, is the real stand out track and not in a good way. The entire instrumental lacks the electronic influence the rest of the album has. The absence of the electronic production on this song leaves for a weak closing track. I think that if you’re going to make an album that’s seemingly banger after banger, at least close on one. This song just doesn’t fit in. However, this is arguably the only song that doesn’t fit in here, even if the song is conceptually tied in with the rest of the album.

Overall, I enjoyed this album quite a bit and it has made me interested in hearing Kim’s other work. I’m hoping for something similar down the line from her, not necessarily another Halloween release, but another electronic release could be great considering it wouldn’t have to be tied to Halloween.

 

The Good: Purgatory, There Will Be Blood, Bloody Valentine, <demons>, Close Your Eyes, TRANSylvania, Turn Off The Light, Tell Me It’s A Nightmare

The Mediocre: Wrong Turn, Massacre, Knives, Death by Sex, o m e n, i don’t wanna die…

The Bad (even though these are still tolerable): Everybody Dies, In the Next Life

Score: 7/10