King Princess has been steadily rising in popularity since her 2018 hit single “1950” and her debut album “Cheap Queen,” which came out on Oct. 25, will surely only add to that hype. This long-awaited album contains 13 tracks and more than exceeds any expectations I had.
The album’s title “Cheap Queen” references a term in drag queen culture, as does her campy make-up on the cover. As King Princess identifies as genderqueer and a lot of her songs and videos experiment with gender, I loved getting this directly references through the cover art and title.
King Princess’s music is an addictive mixture of Lana Del Ray, Lorde and Hayley Kiyoko with her own personal twist. Her music, which often mentions and contains LGBTQ+ themes, holds an important place in the queer community as there isn’t a vast selection of romantic songs to chose from.
Fun, cheeky lyrics placed over experimental electronic sound makes this album full of bops and bangers, but her music also works well stripped down in sound and relying on emotion. “Isabel’s Moment” is a soft ballad with vulnerable lyrics where King Princess admits, “But hope is a thing that you find when you're sober / And your clothes are still in my drawers.”
“Tough on Myself” also holds a lot of emotion in a short amount of time. The low-key vibes of this song are really what makes me love this track the most--I feel like I could listen to this song for hours on loop in the background.
“Hit the Back” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s definitely one of the most fun with its upbeat refrain and catchy lyrics. “Ain't I the best you’ve had?” King Princess asks over and over again. This one, along with “Useless Phrases”, has been stuck in my head since my first listen through.
This album is fun and colorful--and the music videos are as well. In particular, the “Cheap Queen” music video draws on dreamy, trippy vibes that fit with the material extremely well. This video really shows how much of a performer King Princess is, and how much she puts into her music. The “Prophet” video holds a lot of interesting images and so many metaphors that I’m still breaking them down. If you want a quick look into King Princess’s vibes or music, I would definitely suggest checking out a few of her music videos.
There were a few songs that felt oddly out of place or repetitive, such as “If You Think It’s Love” which didn’t feel as refreshing or new as her other tracks. It sounds like any other sad, lovesick pop song out there--not really King Princess’s usual sound, as her songs typically have a very distinct sound. “Isabel’s Moment” also felt like this at times, although I think the exceptional lyrics in this song lifted it from the mundane.
Overall, this album is a free, open expression of King Princess’s sexuality where she experiments with mixing her new and old sounds to make something entirely new, which I think she definitely succeeded at. Whatever is next for King Princess, I’m sure it will be fit for royalty.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.