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30 Is Doja Cat's music too frivolous?

Is Doja Cat's music too frivolous?


On her third studio album, the American pop star flirts with every genre - rap, R'n'B, pop, Afrobeat and dancehall - with evident ease but not much risk taking...

Doja Cat - Kiss Me More (Official Video) ft. SZA

Doja Cat's influence is matched only by her ability to flirt with all genres, bringing together fans of trap and Rita Ora-style pop. She already did it with Hot Pink in 2019, and has struck again with Planet Her, her third album released on Friday 25th June by RCA Records. This hotly anticipated opus had been teased out by the singer for several months, from video releases all over social media to headlining appearances at several festivals. First came the release of Kiss Me More, an opening single with a pure summer hit vibe that is already flooding the most mainstream radio stations as well as the playlists of music critics. Then came the surprise video for Need To Know, a sort of tribute to science fiction and new technology by the artist who was first discovered on TikTok. Then more recently, the unveiling of a cover signed by superstar photographer David LaChapelle... What looked set to be a tornado in the music industry, like the one Kali Uchis caused earlier this year with Sin Miedo, has turned out to be a cleverly orchestrated sequence of somewhat frivolous tracks, like a thoughtful tangle of guilty pleasures that last no longer than three minutes each.


Doja Cat - Need To Know (Official Video)

Like Doja Cat herself, her music is sunny, unpretentious and in perfect tune with the times. It's therefore not surprising to find, on Planet Her, certain feminist stances in the lyrics ("I'm not your mommy, nigga"), Latino melodies, Afrobeat, and even a love song. With Love To Dream, the young woman, who cultivates an incredibly girly and emancipated image delivers an ultra-cheesy track, reminiscent of the sentimental tirades belted out by Destiny's Child or Mariah Carey in the 2000s. Without batting an eyelid, she goes from a deep pop opening (the first five tracks) to a second part that leans more towards 90s hip-hop. Evoking the sensual loop of Slum Village's Climax (2000) and the productions of Gang Starr, the track Ain't Shit confirms the great ease with which the singer alternates between rap and singing, while with I Don't Do Drugs, a duet with Ariana Grande, she delivers a fine example of carefree pop, hitting the high notes and using (some might say abusing) the vocoder. Proof that while Doja Cat's music is full of references, it oscillates between all styles without really being imbued with a firm identity. Its strong point? It doesn't take itself seriously and speaks for an artist who moves forward without reappropriating the outdated aesthetics of pop music from twenty years ago. And while we’d love to see Doja Cat take more risks, let's not forget she made a name for herself thanks to a track in which she proclaimed to be a cow. In short, her musical project remains free of anything serious. And frankly, why not?



Planet Her (2021) by Dojat Cat [Kemosable Records/RCA Records], is now available.

Doja Cat - Ain't Shit (Visualizer)