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‘A PROPHECY’ Review: Babebee Throws Musical Conventions Out The Window

4.5 Stars

Babebee released "A Prophecy" on Nov. 17.
Babebee released "A Prophecy" on Nov. 17. By Courtesy of Babebee / Epitaph Records
By Roberto C. Quesada, Contributing Writer

Babebee, named as one of the best new artists of 2022, released a new EP titled “A PROPHECY.” on Nov. 17. Babebee, a Korean-American artist based in Atlanta, brings a new image to the table providing a unique and experimental blend of their Korean and American identities. While the EP is only 18 minutes, it offers a rich and varied musical journey, showcasing Babebee’s unique artistry as they enter the contemporary music landscape.

The EP begins with “Come With Me,” a song that showcases Babebee’s more experimental side. “Come With Me” begins with a calm, almost dreamy sound as a simple guitar is plucked under dreamlike floating vocals. The song is best heard through headphones where listeners can fully experience Babebee’s experimental use of space as different adlibs and instrumentals pan across the audio landscape. Building from this dreamlike introduction, the song progresses to a robust rock finale. The production is the most noteworthy part of the song, emanating a combination of early 2000s U2, Coldplay and Avril Lavigne. This fusion creates a nostalgic yet fresh listening experience that sets a high bar for the EP. Still, while “Come With Me” has a great sound, it could have been pushed further had the song included an extra chorus, which would have extended the song’s narrative and emotional impact, offering a more satisfying listening experience.

Released months prior to the EP, the “Come With Me” music video provides an additional layer of intrigue for viewers. The video begins with clips of Babebee running through fields and showing closeups of nature; leaves, grass, and flowers. This sets a tranquil and serene tone as the song begins. Suddenly, an analog television appears in the middle of the rain, showcasing Babebee singing with a band as viewers are taken into the frame for a clear view of the performance. This transition from natural landscapes to a framed television is a clever metaphor that aligns with Babebee’s image as an unconventional artist who creates styles by bridging old sounds together.

“Video Game” is the most surprising of the songs on the EP. It begins with a dramatic and distorted synth disrupted by an abrupt switch, toward music that sounds eerily similar to the soundtrack of a late 1990s video game. The song showcases Babebee’s ability to combine both production and lyric to convey their ideas. While their vocals on the song are solid, the track’s main draw is the unconventional production and backing track which make it stand out.

“Cigarettes / Two Doves” takes a more subdued approach. The title contrasts two opposing ideas — the ashes of cigarettes with the grace and beauty of dives. This duality adds emotional depth to the song and invites listeners to ponder the conflicting nature of the themes presented.

“Ephemeral” and “Butterfly 나비” are both engaging additions to the EP. In Ephemeral, Babebee assures a person that they will be found. The track is an earworm, evoking the feeling of a Disney movie soundtrack. Butterfly is unique as it has lyrics in Korean alongside English lyrics. This choice by Babebee to incorporate part of their Korean roots into a mostly English EP was well done, and demonstrates their willingness to experiment across different genres while still staying true to themselves.

The EP concludes with “My Dear,” a rock influenced track featuring strong guitars and drums that brings the EP full circle with instrumental callbacks to “Come With Me.” In this song, however, the rock influences are carried throughout the song’s entirety. The rock sound suits Babebee and while it is less experimental, it is effective in opening up the album to a more general audience.

Babebee’s “A Prophecy” is a bold, imaginative blend of genres and styles. Its experimental nature, combined with Babebee’s evident talent, makes it a significant and fresh contribution to the music scene. The EP captures the essence of Babebee’s artistic vision to be an artist that can break musical norms and produce music that sounds both conventional and new in the process.

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