Empress Of - 'Us'

6/10

Alt-pop producer, songwriter, and general musical auteur Lorely Rodriguez aka Empress Of has always been one to take control of her own sound. Her stunning debut album 'Me' back in 2015 epitomised the efforts of her solo endeavours, creating a release that fully embraced her own ambitions, but at times felt that she was alienating her listeners. So now she returns with 'Us', a record that looks to continue to expressive pop sound of her first release but with a far more inclusive edge to it.

From the start, 'Us' delivers the same old proficient talent we have seen from her throughout her career. Trending the line between commercial pop music and an experimental flair, the frontwoman has used this second album to be less adventurous but instead find a sound that suits her and run with it for the length of the release. Switching back and forth between English and Spanish throughout the record, she is able to incorporate language as if it were another instrument, using it to add a sense of excitement and bounce to a release that sometimes has trouble moving further along in places.

A confident return but one that seems to be missing that special something that really makes it stand out. 'Us' set out to have a greater wider appeal than its predecessor, and while she has definitely achieved that, it just doesn't quite hit as hard as we were hoping for.

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