Carré Calloway, the mastermind behind Queen Kwong, burst onto the scene in support of Nine Inch Nails on two separate tours. Despite the first of these tours being in 2005, she took her time, waited, and released her debut album ten years later. Her genre? You tell me. The sheer creativity and variety in her first album showed her going from strength to strength- from heavy screams to beautiful ballads, the album had it all. But how do you follow an album as good as that up?
Stylistically, this album is similar to its predecessor. It can be haunting and slow, like in the beautiful ‘Old Faithful’- or manic and heavy like ‘White Whine’, and Calloway manages to do it all seamlessly. This variety works in positive ways though- showing Calloway’s talents, and her ability to make a range of different songs fit together perfectly.
Because despite the fact that this album is wide and varied, it sounds a lot more coherent than the previous album, with a thread linking all of the songs together. It’s a testament to Calloway’s musical ability that soft and harsh sounds blend together in such harmony.
The album’s not always harmonious though, and I mean that in the best possible way. You can really hear the Nine Inch Nails influence in songs like ‘The Happiest Place’ and ‘Fools Gold’, which are dominated by a disorienting level of distortion that would sound out of place anywhere else.
If I had to pick two words to sum this album up, I’d choose ‘controlled chaos’. Because there’s so much going on in this album, it’d be easy to look at it as a mess. But Calloway pulls everything together, harnessing all of the elements to control all of the chaos, and make it into something beautiful. This album is a miracle, but a welcome one.
Best songs: The Happiest Place, White Whine, Old Faithful