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 can show up a lack of experimentation. Growing out of this dusty, rocky ground, however, are occasional flowerings of R&B pop, like this head-nodding, funk-hop cactus with a guest rap 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 more interesting experience.