Clairo’s 'Immunity' album review: Good effort but it doesn’t quite knock us out

The 20-year-old viral pop sensation seems to be looking for her genre on her debut

Chris Gillett |

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Following a plethora of bedroom indie-pop bangers and a debut performance in Hong Kong earlier this year, viral pop sensation Clairo has released her debut album Immunity, which shows the 20-year-old shedding her lo-fi aesthetic for a more slick production.

Lead single Bags is a great example of this. The electric guitar chugs are clean and bright, while her youthful, withdrawn vocals are crystal clear. Sofia nods to her roots, where Strokes-y guitar chords pave the way for a sweet summer-pop melody.

At times, Clairo seems to be stretching her genre legs, from the wistful 90s-era All Saints-esque Softly, to the reserved post-grunge fuzz of North.

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Lyrically, she might come across as relatively unsophisticated, but that doesn’t mean some of her lines don’t cut deep, such as in the dreamy chorus of Impossible, where she sings, “And I know we’re not the same as we were/Used to be falling hard/But now it just hurts me so bad”.

There are a few moments that don’t quite connect, though. While Clairo’s voice does suit the neo-soul organ-led swing of Sinking, it never becomes anything exciting, and White Flag feels like more of a mood-setter than a complete song.

For a first attempt, Immunity is an enjoyable set of songs. Still, it could have included some older, stronger singles, like Pretty Girl, to really knock us out.