Label: Amusement / Island Records
Released: 22nd September 2023
Bursting to life like a carnival parade thumping onto your street, Chappell Roan is greeting her adoring public. Hands waving to the masses, she relishes in the limelight. Toting pop songs like confetti canons, she’s welcoming the barrelling hurricane of youthful passion; readily embracing all that’s vivacious and fun, bringing to the forefront a new wave of glitzy empowerment and a lust for life.
Having first gained attention with a small dosing of folk sounds under her birth name Kayleigh Amstutz, after a couple of YouTube videos in 2017 she signed to a major before being duly dropped in 2020. This all freed the vision for her vibrant and glittery persona, Chappell Roan. ‘The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess’ finds her signed once again to another major, but with the DIY framework already in place, this is Chappell embracing everything she has come to experience – and relish in. The brash pop pokes fun at the inabilities of male lovers (‘Femininomenon’), boasts beats that ripple with the mid-00s pop sheen with bisexual abandon (‘After Midnight’), and takes overt sexuality to a whole new level (basically every track).
Embracing queerness with unrelenting voracity, it’s a wild ride that is as infectious as it is brash, often with a Gaga-style abandon or a playful Katy Perry wink. The real beauty lies in Chappell’s ability to nurture the heart at the core of all the sentiments, fearlessly combining the pop bombast with acoustic lamentation (‘Coffee’), or gentle country vibes (‘Picture You’). With Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Dan Nigro on board, the hooks flow fast and easy, rarely duplicating themselves.
‘The Rise And Fall Of A Midwest Princess’ is a pop masterpiece for 2023.