Kim Petras took 15 years to release her debut record. In the meanwhile, the German singer-songwriter’s steady growth has made her a pop talent to watch: Her “Era 1” tracks were a clever throwback to bubbly 2000s bubblegum, and her pair of Halloween-themed mixtapes were edgy, spooky fun. Petras became the first trans artist to score a Number One hit earlier this year with her Sam Smith duet “Unholy.”
But the journey to Feed the Beast hasn’t been all Champagne and glitter. Her continued work with Dr. Luke has been troublesome to many music fans, due to accusations of sexual assault and abuse that kept the producer locked in a long-running legal battle with Kesha, which just settled out of court this week. Then, after signing to a major label in 2021, Petras’.
Petras has described her new album as her most “personal” effort to date, abandoning the avatars she inhabited in her Turn Off the Lights Halloween endeavours and even last year’s Slut Pop EP. But this album feels like we’ve drifted even further away from who Petras is musically, losing the strange fascination and spark that made her previous eras feel so enjoyable and out of the ordinary.
Largely, Petras’ new material seems heavily inspired by Nineties house and Europop. Lead single “Alone,” featuring a surprisingly low — energy Nicki Minaj guest verse, samples Alice Deejay’s 1999 hit “Better Off Alone,” adding unnecessary trap hi-hats into the mix. Much of the album is comprised of similarly cheap ploys for radio and TikTok play, making the often trendsetting Petras a copy of many copies. Tracks like “King of Hearts” and “Claws” sound like an onslaught of overpriced vodka sodas: watered down and indiscernible from the next one.