Allie X has few standouts in new album

Canadian singer, songwriter and visual artist Alexandra Ashley Hughes, otherwise known as Allie X, has released her third studio album “Girl With No Face.” Filled with techno beats and vocalization capturing a seemingly quick descent into madness surrounding her position in society, Allie X’s character in this album demonstrates female rage, self confidence and navigating a confusing world. 

The album begins with the track “Weird World,” starting with layered synth beats jabbing at the air and dreamy vocals with a nearly sarcastic inflection. She reflects on the state of the world and how it has scorned her, especially in the chorus as she sings, “I used to be a dream girl / But the world interfered.” 

Intermittently, she will sing lines in German, like the lines “Das Lied, das mir den Weg zeigt / Das Lied, das Lied der Zeitgeist,” which loosely translates to “The song that shows me the way / The song, the song of the Zeitgeist.” These lines smoothly fold into the song, complimenting her theme. 

Her song “Off With Her Tits” had perhaps the most interesting content, as it was both a commentary on objectifying women’s bodies and a story. Her dramatic vocal inflection and the way she switches between singing alone and harmonizing with each word create the song’s unique personality. 

The song’s second half brings a story about Allie X’s character scheduling an appointment with the doctor to get her chest cut off. She then goes to take out a loan at the bank and the teller replies, “Bitch, are you joking? / I wish I had that rack.” While this section is comedic, it seemed as though the rhyme scheme was cheesy, such as the rhyme of “what can you do?” and “sign me up for June.” 

“Hardware Software” brings dreamlike synths before the beat lowers and Allie X’s quiet voice discusses balancing one’s anger. There are also moments of instrumentation that sound like what I can best describe as a techno lute. 

One can see her dilemma with balancing opposing feelings in the concept of hardware  abd software. She begins the song with the lines “My hardware is getting too hard / I like software, it makes me calm and stuff” but then realizes too much “software” is detrimental as she adds later, “My hardware is getting too fast / I need to slow down, honey, wanna make it last / And my software is kicking me in the gut / It’s gonna get me soft like a pillow top.” 

My favorite song I have been listening to religiously since before the album even released is “Black Eye.” The dramatic buildup at the very beginning already makes it insanely different from the other songs and the powerful vocals as she belts near the end send chills down my spine. 

It is a song of having confidence in the face of rejection and accepting it while not taking it to heart. In fact, she’s almost asking for people to hate on her as she says, “Oh, hit me, hit me with that super pain / ‘Cause a hit feels like I’m dancin’ in the rain.” 

Finally, I wanted to mention “Saddest Smile.” A slower pace, this song covers the idea of losing the energy to fight against inconvenience and smiling in the face of sadness. She tells listeners, “No one wants to see me soften / so I have to harden ‘til I turn to dust.” 

She marks the middle of this track with haunting, high-pitched vocals that remind me of a siren’s call. For the rest of the track, her voice takes on a slight rasp as she sings in a near whisper. This creates a desperate effect as she gives up.

Now, I have skipped many other songs on this album and it is not because they’re not good, but because they were not memorable enough. They were all pretty decent, but mimicked one another with such similar sound that I only wanted to talk about the songs that stood out. 

Allie X has a unique style and her lyrics were interesting, but she merely grazed the surface of what I believe she could do. She just needs a bit more variety to really hone in the story she wants to present.


4/5 stars


Freatured photo courtesy of @alliex, Instagram