Self Esteem - 'Compliments Please'

8/10

When frontwoman Rebecca Taylor first announced her plans for a solo project at the end of 2017, many seemed surprised that she was looking to move away from her formative group Slow Club. With five critically-acclaimed albums under their belt, the duo were on the top of their game, so to walk away from that in order to try something new seemed like a risky premise. But as she confronts on the record's opening track '(Feelings)', she was being pulled into a new direction that her former bandmate wasn't interested in, and so we now have the reinvention of Rebecca Taylor in the form of 'Compliments Please'.

While fans of Slow Club will obviously find a lot to enjoy on this new collection, it is clear that she had ideas that went far beyond the realm of the original pairing. With an eclectic and diverse approach to production and style, 'Compliments Please' feels like a rush of bold and brave concepts, as if she had been holding in these intentions for years beforehand. Taking cues from other alt-pop artists such as Rae Morris and Sigrid, the Self Esteem project seems to enjoy riding the edge of a commercial identity, creating something accessible but not too glossy as to remove it from the raw passion within each single.

She may not be a new artist in the literal sense of the word, but 'Compliments Please' certainly feels like a new beginning for the frontwoman. Engaging and captivating throughout, this new release plays with a stunning level of confidence and sees her emerge from her shell, making a statement as to who she truly is as a creative musician.

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