Bebe Rexha’s ‘All Your Fault Pt. 1’: EP Review

Mike Wass | February 22, 2017 12:00 pm

Bebe Rexha delivers six superior pop anthems on the first half of her debut LP, All Your Fault Pt. 1. The feisty set is a testament to her brilliant songwriting and supernatural ability to sniff out a hook. It also reflects her growth as an artist since 2015 EP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. The 27-year-old has always been a great songwriter, but she couldn’t quite establish her own identify. That’s all changed. Since dyeing her hair blond, Bebe has carved out a niche as a much-needed pop rebel with relatable bops that tackle everything from fuckboys to fake friends.

The EP kicks off with a song I’ve loved since it surfaced online as a rough demo in early 2016. “Atmosphere” is an unusually romantic and vulnerable (potential) break-up anthem. “There isn’t enough love in the atmosphere to keep you here,” she pleads over lush electronic production. It’s the kind of gem that would happily be snapped up by any of pop’s A-List divas, but Bebe imbues the song with a palpable sense of danger that would be absent from anyone else’s version. Just don’t get too comfortable with the mid-tempo pacing.

“Atmosphere” segues to lead single, “I Got You,” which is the collection’s most overt pop moment. The rhythmic element that shapes much of the diva’s material is not as apparent on this earworm and that’s definitely part of its charm. The Captain Cuts-produced bop was always going to be a hit with that chorus, but it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the songs. If anything, it’s a soft introduction in that there are many other potential singles to choose from. Take “Small Doses,” a track that evokes the bittersweet approach of earlier material like “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You.”

“I can only take you in small doses,” Bebe laments. “Loving you it’s explosive.” It’s a different kind of love song that benefits from Gladius’ ambient-adjacent electronic production and the pop star’s emotional vocal. It’s also the point where the EP swings away from positive topics to bleaker subject matter. Which is where I get the feeling the blond bombshell feels most at home. Take “F.F.F.,” which stands for “Fuck Fake Friends.” A reunion with G-Eazy, the track is a sequel of sorts to their breakthrough smash “Me, Myself & I.” Only this time, Bebe doesn’t hold back. A thing.

“I been in LA for way too long,” the singer declares. “Can’t get this air inside my lungs, it feels like I’m suffocating from all the lack of the realness here.” Well, take that bitches. You don’t need to be a resident of the City of Angels to feel every word of this anthem, which boasts a sing-along chorus and the best G-Eazy verse to grace a pop song since, well, his last collaboration with Bebe. A video is already in the can and it’s almost unthinkable that she would miss the chance to unleash this as a single.

Next up is my favorite song on All Your Fault. Produced by The Invisible Men, “Gateway Drug” is an obscenely catchy track about a toxic relationship. The dark and dangerous anthem strikes the perfect balance between pop (that chorus is lethal) and rhythmic-leaning beats. It’s not the most obvious single on the EP, but it’s the song that has spent the most time bouncing around my brain. There’s also something refreshing about a pop song that swings between lust, confusion and anger with abandon. Bebe rifles through matters of the heart with the acuity of a therapist.

That brings us to album closer, “Bad Bitch,” which doubles as a statement of intent. Bebe is one and she’s not afraid to sing her own praises over deluxe beats courtesy of Stargate. The feature from Ty Dolla $ign adds a sheen of urban credibility, but it doesn’t really need it. I can’t wait to hear what Bebe comes up with on Part 2. It will interesting to learn if the other songs add context to these or dilute their message. As it stands now, though, Bebe has one hell of a debut LP on her hands.

Score: 4.5/5

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