Becoming one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year, and gaining praise from Elton John saying that it is his ‘favourite album of the year by far,’ Japanese-British songwriter Rina Sawayama’s debut self-titled record is a ‘must listen to’ 2020 release.
Rina’s genre defying album has breathed new life into pop music. Taking strong inspiration from Evanescence, Limp Bizkit and JoJo, Rina Sawayama has perfectly crafted the ability to introduce nu-metal into pop music while adding some signature 2000’s era R&B flare.
SAWAYAMA features hard hitting production, flaring guitars and catchy basslines. While taking a nod to nu-metal, it also pulls inspiration from early dance-pop tracks like Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head. On ‘Comme Des Garçons (Like the Boys)’ Rina pays homage to the club scene while being perfectly written about toxic masculinity.
One of the most striking aspects of the album is the topics written about. On ‘STFU’, Rina sings about her anger towards racism that she has experienced over thrashing guitars as she puts nu-metal at the very forefront, while on XS she boasts about materialism and climate change over a mix of thrashing nu-metal guitar stabs and early 2000’s R&B production.
SAWAYAMA is an explosive debut album and an amazing self portrait of the singer’s life. Drawing from her experiences with racism, her LGBT identity and mistakes in her life, she manages to execute them perfectly with her exceptional song-writing techniques. The cherry on top of this album is she has managed to make nu-metal sound effortlessly cool.
You can listen to SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama on all music platforms.