February 15, 2019 Betty Who – Betty (Album Review)
In today’s day and age, self-love and reflection continue to grow in importance as we focus towards better mental health. Within the epidemic is a 27-year-old Austrian Singer-Songwriter Betty Who, who has taken the time to dive into what makes her feel a woman. Initially releasing her debut EP back in 2013, her upcoming third full-length album, Betty, is a product of who she proudly feels she is. A bundle of Electro-Pop joy that will make any listener dance into their best self, it is set for release on Friday, February 15th via Kobalt Music.
Looking back a little bit first, Betty Who was born Jessica Newham, and from a young age, she taught herself on piano and guitar. After years of discovering her love for music, the singer-songwriter took on her musical career at the age of 16. As mentioned, making her independent debut in 2013 with her EP The Movement, it ultimately led to a record deal with major label RCA.
Also gaining attention immediately, Betty Who’s song “Somebody Loves You” was featured in a viral video of a flash mob proposal. This rise led to Betty Who opening up for Pop icons Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue, among many other milestones. Though she has now parted ways with RCA, two albums later and a movie score feature under her belt, Betty Who aims for the stars.
Thirteen songs in total, Betty begins with the sound of a tape rewinding then playing forward, as if the reset button has been hit. The opening cut, “Old Me,” comes to light as Betty Who celebrates her spiritual freedom. The funky, groovy track spreads joy with arms wide open after feeling caged for so long, and despite the lyrical tone, she has a way of turning even the saddest of feelings into a disco. Thereafter, “Just Thought You Should Know” is an ’80s feel-good dance track laced with regret and loneliness.
Then there is the album’s lead single “Ignore Me” which features the raw bitterness of heartbreak, hurt, and resentment of being blown off – something everyone can relate to at least once in his/her life. She proudly takes a stab as she states “You wanted to leave,” yet it is done in such a gentle manner underneath the soft approach of the synths and strings. Amidst it all, stand-out track “The One” is straight from the vault of ’90’s Pop. The deep electronic and steady cymbal taps derive straight from Betty’s ‘NSYNC and Britney Spears influences as she describes trying so hard to be the one for someone. In enough words, it serves as a confident middle finger in the air as he basically says, “So long, good luck!”
All this in mind, not everything is full of attitude on Betty. For example, sweet and cheeky, “Marry Me” is the perfect “you and me” track. The exuberant jamboree is a jump for joy and celebration that’ll make you want to run off and get hitched this second. Let us not forget to mention the sexy, R&B influenced “Taste” as well where Betty Who stands confident in her sexuality as she resists the urge to go after the bad boy.
Overall, there is something good going on here. Although, it is hard to put a finger on it, there is a slight hint of monotony in the sound and a few odd rhythm patterns, hindering the album’s flow at times. That aside, the messages in the lyrics are a reflection of a healthy and growing human, which is something everyone can root for and appreciate. For embracing the joy of music and life, Cryptic Rock gives Betty 3.5 out of 5 stars.