Making a debut record is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks for an artist. After that first record, there’s room for growth. But first, you have to establish yourself. Låpsley’s debut record Long Way Home delivers an underwhelming electronic pop that centers around one sound rather than showing off her capabilities.
As with any new-wave electropop artist, a lot of the music is minimalistic. The problem here is that Låpsley’s minimalism lacks any substance that makes up for the huge space that needs to be filled. Opening track ‘Heartless’ is empty and minimal to begin with before building into a pop beat that carries the chorus. That’s not to say there aren’t any good moments on the record; ‘Hurt Me’ and ‘Cliff’ are both pop bangers that hold a lot of ground. Lyrically, though, this album has some very weak points that anchor it down. The song ‘Tell Me The Truth’ chooses to punctuate the otherwise meaningful chorus lyrics with “I guess,” as if she’s an edge teenager who doesn’t want to open up to an annoyed parent. ‘Station’ is just downright confusing... you can’t really understand what it is she’s saying, and what could be a sampled dog doesn’t help elevate it. The song ‘Operator’ takes you back in time, bringing soul, R&B, and funk and adding a pop flair to it, which while by itself is a pretty cliché track, it does add a splash of color to the album. The only gem of a song on this album is found towards the end: ‘Silverlake’. It’s an enchanting symphonic pop piece with gorgeous harmonies and the visualization of a lakeshore at night. It’s tantalizing and what the rest of the album should’ve sounded like.
Låpsley’s debut wasn’t too well put together, but it only means her sophomore record can only go up from here. By themselves, the songs are tolerable and most have a fun fire to them. The problem that as a whole, the album is largely incohesive and lacks any punch to keep it interesting. Hopefully she can put together a more powerful second record in the future. This time, with closure and substance.
Favorite Track: Silverlake
Least Favorite Tracks: Station, Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me)