Girl In Red – I’m Doing It Again Baby! (2024)

Girl in Red, the musical moniker of Marie Ulven Ringheim, has become synonymous with raw honesty and relatable experiences for a generation grappling with self-discovery, queer identity, and mental health. Her debut album, “if i could make it go quiet,” resonated deeply with its heartfelt vulnerability, tackling themes of heartbreak, depression, and longing. Now, with her sophomore release, “I’m Doing It Again Baby!”, Girl in Red embarks on a sonic and emotional evolution, marking a significant shift towards self-acceptance, empowerment, and unabashed joy.

The album title itself sets the tone. It’s a declaration of defiance, a playful nod to the anxieties that plagued her debut, while simultaneously announcing a bold return. The opener, “I’m Back,” kicks things off with a gentle honesty. Acoustic guitars and shimmering synths create a warm soundscape where Ulven reflects on a period of darkness and her journey towards recovery. Lyrics like “Living life in gray did something to my brain/ But, hey, I took a shower today” are a testament to the small victories that pave the way for bigger ones. There’s a sense of quiet pride in acknowledging the struggles that led her here.

This theme of self-love continues on tracks like “You Said You Could Break Me” and “Body Horror.” The former is a bouncy, synth-driven anthem that celebrates resilience. Ulven sings, “Took a while to realize/ I won’t break, I won’t break,” defying the expectations of those who underestimated her strength. “Body Horror” tackles a different kind of self-acceptance, delving into the complexities of body image. It’s a relatable struggle, particularly for young listeners, and the song offers a sense of solidarity with its distorted guitars and driving beat. Lines like “I’m learning to appreciate/ The body that I navigate” showcase a newfound comfort in her own skin.

But “I’m Doing It Again Baby!” isn’t just about introspection. It’s a celebration of life, love, and the exhilarating feeling of being young and unapologetically yourself. The title track explodes with infectious energy. Its distorted guitars and pounding drums create a sonic landscape that begs to be cranked up. Ulven’s vocals soar on the chorus, declaring, “I’m on a new level, something’s got me feeling like/ I could be inflammable, and I might be/ I’m gonna light it up, nothing’s gonna stop me.” It’s a potent anthem of self-belief, a declaration of creative and personal liberation.

The celebratory spirit continues on tracks like “Rue” and “Whatever, Whatever.” “Rue” leans into a more classic pop-rock sound, with layered vocals and a driving rhythm section. It’s a song brimming with teenage rebellion and carefree abandon. “Whatever, Whatever” throws genre out the window, flirting with elements of hyperpop and electronica. The song is an unapologetic declaration of self-ownership, a middle finger raised to anyone who tries to dictate who she should be.

The album isn’t without its moments of vulnerability. “Polaroid” offers a glimpse into the bittersweet nature of nostalgia, reflecting on a past love with a mix of fondness and melancholy. “Midnight Love” delves into the complexities of a budding relationship, with its hushed vocals and introspective lyrics. These quieter moments provide a necessary balance to the album’s overall exuberance, showcasing the emotional depth that continues to be a hallmark of Girl in Red’s music.

“I’m Doing It Again Baby!” is a sonic and emotional journey, reflecting both personal growth and artistic exploration. Girl in Red retains the vulnerability that resonated with so many fans, but injects it with a newfound confidence and joy. The album is a powerful testament to the strength it takes to face your demons and emerge stronger, ready to embrace life with open arms. It’s a message that will undoubtedly resonate with fans both old and new, leaving them feeling empowered, accepted, and ready to shout along to the infectious choruses.

One minor critique might be a sense of occasional sonic similarity in the mid-section of the album. However, this is easily overshadowed by the overall strength of the songwriting and the sheer infectious energy of the record.

“I’m Doing It Again Baby!” is a triumphant return for Girl in Red. It’s an album brimming with self-love, defiance, and the exhilarating feeling of coming into your own. It’s a record that will make you want to dance, sing along at the top of your lungs, and celebrate the beautiful chaos of being young and alive.

 

 

 

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