This Week’s Model — FKA twigs, “Cellophane”


When I write about music, I do so as a fan and a novice. In contrast to how some artists would likely characterize my typed-out ruminations, I do this not to pompously pontificate about what is right and wrong in the broader culture, but instead in an effort to understand my own reactions to art. I work within my limitations, well aware that I lack the knowledge and vocabulary to examine the deepest intricacies of an individual song’s mechanics, how the arrangement and production choices on a track elevate or diminish the work. I pull from my gut, or my heart, or my soul, or whatever nebulous portion of myself stirs when I encounter a musical creation of note. Those who can expound expertly on, say, the impact of an unorthodox time signature or unexpected minor key leave me quietly awestruck. Meanwhile, I fumble to find the deeper justification — through metaphor, through descriptions of feelings, through the blunt instrument of artist comparison — for my immediate, base reaction.

All that preamble is meant to excuse my inability to properly articulate the wonders of “Cellophane,” the new single from FKA twigs. It is exquisite and moving, almost tactile in its precision and tenderness. It is a song to get lost within, as if it’s an embrace.It’s pure loveliness.

In so many respects, “Cellophane” is miles away from the music I connected with deeply decades ago, when I ingested the stream of records that came into my college radio station like they were life-giving oxygen. I think that’s a positive. I want pop music to roil and change and evolve. As it does, I’m going to try my damnedest to keep up, even if I can’t always quite explain what I’m hearing that makes a valued inner portion of me soar.

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