FKA Twigs finds a brighter sound in his ‘CAPRISONGS’ mixtape

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Dionte Berry
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After his heartbreaking and traumatic second album “Magdalene”, FKA Twigs returns to the scene with his mixtape “CAPRISONGS”, which introduces his listeners to dancehall, afrobeats and hip-hop influences.

Tahliah Debrett Barnett, professionally known as FKA Twigs, is an English singer, songwriter and performer.

“CAPRISONGS” shows a freer and more playful side of Twigs. Her second album “Magdalene” highlights part of her life after her breakup and the removal of fibroids from her uterus.

Twigs’ mixtape features a wide range of collaborations from artists including The Weeknd, Shygirl and Jorja Smith, as well as production from Arca.

The 17-song tracklist begins with “ride the dragon,” which begins with a whispered intro and deeper vocals that can almost sound like conversation. The momentum starts slow, but picks up with Twigs’ voice coming through clearly, as if piercing through the fog.

Twigs fluctuates between fast speaking and singing, but overall she has a much stronger and more confident vocal presence.

“honda” begins with a spoken word intro by British rapper Pa Salieu over a wavering church choir. Twigs’ vocals burst with deep rhythm and slamming instrumentals.

The hip-hop influences are obvious. Instead of maintaining her wispy, light voice that she is known for, Twigs’ voice is deeper and moves in the direction of a rap.

“meta angel” begins with a conversation between Twigs and his friends, and ends with a tape ejection. Listeners reconnect with Twigs’ sweet, angelic vocals harmonizing in the background.

What starts out as soft becomes harder and more metallic. Twigs has a deeply self-tuned verse, which is picked up by a hip hop beat, and ends with an industrial beat pounding in the background.

“Tears in the club” is the first single from “CAPRISONGS” and features The Weeknd. With an R&B and metallic vibe, Twigs and the Weeknd sings about the struggle to forget a lover.

“oh my love” immerses the listener in hazy 2000s R&B sound. For the most part, Twigs sings softly; however, she gains strength when she sings, “Everybody Knows I Want Your Love, Why Are You Playing Little Boy, What’s Up?”

“grapefruit” is steeped in dancehall drums. This short track has a smooth, bright energy with more spoken lyrics.

“caprisongs interlude” is a 26 second spatial interlude where FKA Twigs says “caprisongs”. Although short, the interlude features the barking of her dog Solo who disappeared towards the end of 2021.

“lightbeamers” has a calm piano and a soft intro with Twigs talking nonchalantly. Its quiet vocals change to a higher pitch and faster beat about a minute into the song, reminiscent of the hyperpop autotune.

The track sits between Twigs’ low talk and high self-tuning moments.

“papi bones”, with Shygirl, revisits dancehall influences. Twigs goes between lower and higher pitch as she raps over bright percussion and trumpet with Shygirl bringing her signature low voice.

“which way” with Dystopia, begins with a fast and sultry rhythm, which is interrupted by short spoken pieces.

“jealousy,” featuring Rema, begins with a quiet reggaeton drum and light harp-like chords. This simple piece highlights the jealousy of a partner.

“careless,” featuring Daniel Caesar, has a slow, hazy beat, and Twigs’ voice falls between layer and non-layer. “You can be carefree with me” is repeated in the chorus and sets up the scene of Twigs asking her lover to be carefree with her as if they were unloading their burdens.

Caesar’s vocals add a gospel tone, and he closes the song as Twigs harmonizes in the background.

“Minds of Men” begins with broken vocals used as an instrument. Then Twigs’ soft voice kicks in and the broken voice comes back in the background. Overall, the quiet track sounds nice, but pales in comparison to the other tracks on the mixtape.

“track girl interlude” features a conversation between Twigs and her friends surrounded by tricky chords and a glitchy instrumental that kicks in and out sound bites. Twigs begins to sing and her voice begins to repeat itself almost like a record caught in a groove.

Twigs is back to rapping on “darjeeling,” featuring Jorja Smith and Unknown T. Twigs flows to a trap beat and hiccup-like instrumental with short little breaks.

Smith’s vocals contrast with the rapping of Twigs and Unknown T.

“christi interlude” is a bit satirical. It contains an audio of someone explaining what can be assumed to be Twig’s horoscope, since astrology is one of the themes of “CAPRISONGS”.

“thank you song” is a great ending for the album, and it immediately draws the listener in with the opening lyrics, “I wanted to die, I’m just being honest.” As Twigs continues through this piano ballad, it reveals that she now cherishes the love of another.

Overall, I enjoyed the “CAPRISONGS” experience, and I’m happy to see Twigs come closer to the light, using a louder voice that feels like she has power over her own feelings.

With the 17-song mixtape, some are bound to be more forgettable than others. “what a path”, “the spirit of men” and the interludes of the last half of the album are a little forgettable.

That being said, it’s perfectly fine that not all of the tracks are exactly memorable, since it’s a mixtape and allows Twigs to experiment.

I appreciate that this project is looser than his previous projects, which were more tightly organized and had stronger connections between tracks.

“honda” is a banger and a standout track for me. I love Twigs’ rap, and the overall dancehall influence makes it a solid and memorable track.

“CAPRISONGS” is a great addition to Twigs discography, and for that, this project deserves a seven out of 10. I’m excited to see where Twigs takes us next.

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