‘Magdalene’ album review: FKA Twigs creates a mix of beauty and chaos

The talented Brit's long-awaited second album was well worth the wait

Chris Gillett |

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On 2014’s LP1, FKA Twigs made her mark with downbeat glitch-trap rhythms, fizzing synths and breathy, soprano-pitch vocal melodies. After a tumultuous five years since, the artist is back with her long-awaited sophomore release Magdalene.

Gone are the trap beats, and at the forefront, sparse piano passages and rumbling sub-rhythms. The most propulsive and memorable track here is Sad Day, as the glitches give pulse to FKA Twigs’ Kate Bush-isms of the chorus, “Would you make a wish of my love?”

The Kate Bush parallels are evident again in title-track Mary Magdalene, while opener Thousand Eyes is immediately reminiscent of Madonna with the harmonic a cappella layers, but this isn’t to say FKA is imitating these icons.

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Holy Terrain, featuring Future, breaks up the bare, thunderous atmospheres with a conventional R’n’B shuffle, but most notably is the use of piano, fully-formed in the poetic Daybed and lead single Cellophane, where her vocal range soars to breaking point, pouring out operatically, “I don’t want to have to share a love.”

Magdalene is mix of chaos and beauty amid a backdrop of loneliness. As FKA Twigs continues to forge new sounds while remaining accessible, this record is a masterpiece.