481: Boytrouble

Plectrumelectrum (2014)
By all accounts 3rdeyegirl are a fierce live act, holding their own against Prince’s more venerated backing groups, but in the studio the raw energy is tamed and shows up a lack of experimentation. What does works well on the record however are the occasional flowerings of R&B pop growing out of this dusty, rocky ground, like this headnodding, funk-hop cactus featuring a guest rap flow that’s somewhere between Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes and Princess Superstar. Having championed TLC in the 90s and calling them his favourite group at the 1995 MTV music awards it’s not surprising Prince is a fan of Left Eye’s rap-style and Lizzo delivers with delta force dexterity. Fellow The Chalice group members also provide vocals (including several bars of what sounds like Samuel Beckett’s Not I reciting advertisement disclaimers) but it’s the freedom of 3rdeyegirl throwing off their hard rock shackles for the first time on the album that really lifts Boytrouble into the troposphere. A brisk monsoon of funky guitar licks and bright-eyed bass that clears the air and makes the second half of Plectrumelectrum a much more palatable experience.