Mykki Blanco: Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep review – regretful and flirtatious

·1 min read

Mykki Blanco has spent their career immolating boundaries. A performance artist-cum-rapper informed by everything from outré digitals to punk, this 35-year-old’s work has long combined aggression and mischief, frankness and vulnerability.

This nine-track mini-album is their first outing since 2016’s self-titled Mykki, when emotion seemed to gain the upper hand over spikiness. Here, Blanco is processing the end of a relationship aided by producer FaltyDL; the mood veers from regretful to flirtatious. The trap-inclined That’s Folks sees Blanco go head-to-head with Big Freedia, while the defiantly single Summer Fling is as lewd as it is catchy (“Your dick smell of hamsters, go take a bath.”)

But most of the sounds here are mellifluous, with ample space given to heavenly backing vocalists on the more heartfelt songs, like the standout Hudson Mohawke co-production Free Ride. (“What I wouldn’t do for love,” sighs Blanco.) There are nods to jazz and house and the merest swish of bossa nova on Want from Me; soulful intercessions from Blood Orange (It’s Not My Choice) and Jamila Woods (Love Me) add to this record’s levels of bruised classicism.

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