Iggy Azalea’s ‘Reclassified’: Album Review

Mike Wass | November 24, 2014 1:46 pm
Iggy Azalea‘s didn’t get a fair shake from critics when The New Classic dropped in April. Which was odd given the near-universal praise her mixtapes and EP received. That makes the release of Reclassified — a reissue with six new tracks — as good an opportunity as any to acknowledge that the femcee’s debut is actually relentlessly enjoyable (“Fuck Love”, “New Bitch” and “Lady Patra” are everything) and celebrate how far she’s come in the last seven months without the assistance of the usual super-producers and songwriters-for-hire.

There isn’t a dud track on Reclassified. While -assisted lead single “Beg For It” occasionally veers a little close to breakthrough hit “Fancy”, the formula clearly still works. The Charli XCX-penned chorus soars and Iggy’s flow has never been more confident. All it needs is an epic video to become to rap diva’s fourth top 10 entry on the Billboard Hot 100. Of the other new cuts, “Heavy Crown” stands out as another future hit. Who knew Ellie Goulding‘s breathy vocals would sound just as amazing over trap beats or combine so effortlessly with the Aussie’s bars?

Jennifer Hudson lends her powerful pipes to “Trouble” — her second collaboration with Iggy (the first being Pharrell-produced JHUD cut “He Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”). It represents an interesting departure for the Mullumbimby babe with its soulful chorus, retro production and mellow rap. It speaks volumes for the femcee’s versatility that she pulls it off as easily as a sexy pop anthem like “Black Widow”. The other new tracks all explore a similar theme. Namely, returning fire at haters. (This is also one of the rising star’s favorite activities on Twitter).

Of the trio of fuck-you anthems, “Iggy SZN” is the most light-hearted and upbeat. It showcases Iggy’s knack for memorable quips — “what they make in a year, I can make in a week” — and The Invisible Men‘s ability to deliver crazy beats. In comparison, “We In This Bitch” is more of a statement of intent. She’s simply reminding people that she isn’t going anywhere. That leaves “Don’t Need Y’all”, which is probably the most personal song on the album. The hitmaker documents her rise to fame and the hangers-on that go along with it.

Reclassified doesn’t break new ground but it delivers bop after catchy bop. And that’s no easy feat to pull off. My only qualm is the omission of my favorites songs on The New Classic (as listed in the first paragraph) and the inclusion of “Bounce”, which sounds a little out of place. Nevertheless, this is going to be on high repeat for months.

Possible Future Singles: “Heavy Crown” sounds like a smash in waiting.

Best Listened To: When shitting on your haters.

Idolator Score: 4/5

Mike Wass