Joy Crookes : Skin Review
Joy Crookes is releasing her debut album titled Skin. “Skin is my debut album and the proudest work I have made to date,” said Crookes. “It is an autobiographical body of work covering subjects from casual sex to generational trauma, abuse of power, and mental health. I was fortunate enough to make this first album with the exceptionally talented producer Blue May. I sat across the whole production process, and I’m proud to say I’ve been credited with Blue as a co-executive producer. The majority of the album was made at the incredible Konk Studios; we also had the pleasure of recording an 18-piece string section at Abbey Road Studios in the famous Studio Two, and we recorded pick-up vocals all over the place, from a random hotel room in East London, through to a home studio in Clapton. London is in the DNA of this album. The word ‘skin’ massively resonates with me as biologically, it is one of the strongest parts of our bodies, however socially and externally, it is often used against us. This juxtaposition is grappled with throughout the album; lyrically, my album is effectively a collection of stories. The record consists of songs I wrote at the mere age of 15 up until 21. This is an album about my identity.”
“I Don’t Mind” has a mellow string and synth pad to cradle Crookes’ silky voice. The drums and swells borrow from electro-pop, and the song’s lyrics are storytelling with a catchy melody. The vocal harmonies add richness to the sound as the dreamy atmosphere swirls with mystery. The song form is simple and straight to the point.
“Trouble” has a little more pep as the vocal counterpoint and harmonies build around Crookes singing. Her lyrics are thought-provoking as the grooving bassline makes the song easy to listen to and move to. The production has an indie-pop influence as the vocals and drums have a slight distortion. But, again, Crookes keeps the song form simple and builds the song’s emotion with her lyrics and joyous singing.
Skin is an impressive debut for Crookes. There is a lot of speaking at the end of the tunes, which is distracting and does not add to the songs. However, her singing is technically fluid, and her tone is sensual. As her catalog develops, so will her song’s forms and textures. With her gift of singing a melody with passion and character, Crookes is going places and fast!
October 14, 2021