Review: Kim Petras Delivers Pop Perfection On New Project ‘Clarity’

Few artists two years into their career possess a discography as expansive as Kim Petras. Since dropping her vivacious debut single “I Don’t Want It At All” back in 2017, the bops have kept coming at a prodigious rate. And the bun headed pop princess seems incapable of missing. That’s why it was clear something big was coming when she promised to save pop music a little over two months ago. The vow came ahead of the launch of her sophomore era, and she wasn’t kidding. After that, a new song arrived every week like clockwork.

Today (June 29), she packages the 9 songs with three new gems on Clarity. It’s safe to say that the project houses some of her best work to date. While Kim’s debut era turned its focus toward supersized bangers like “Heart To Break,” her latest is a more eclectic affair that hops across many of pop’s sub-genres. Not only that, but it also feels more personal to the hitmaker. That’s abundantly evident with one listen to “Icy.” Her latest single is a frosty response to a former flame who hardened her heart. “I used to cry over you baby,” she sings over slickly produced beats.

“I’ve wasted all this time. Now I got an ice cold heart.” However, there’s a twist here. Instead of hating her ex, she recognizes that the relationship made her reevaluate her worth. It brings a fitting conclusion to previous tear-jerkers “All I Do Is Cry” and “Another One.” The former is a trap-infused ballad about being haunted by memories of an ex. Meanwhile the latter emerges as an emotional highpoint on Clarity. It captures a moment of insecurity with a partner. “I don’t wanna know if you’re dancing with another one. You’re leaving with another one,” the diva vulnerably pleads.

Breakups and failed relationships provide the inspiration for several songs on the tracklist. That includes “Broken.” The first release from the era is a barbed confection that sees Kim wishing for cosmic redistribution of heartbreak over a simple production. “I used to do it all for you,” she coos to an ex before moving into the chorus. “You make it hurt too much. Hope you got, hope you got, everything you want. Pray to god, pray to god, that she leave you broken.” All these weeks later, it still feels fresh enough to compete with the newer material.

Speaking of new material, Clarity’s two other previously unheard releases are “Meet The Parents” and “Shinin’.” And they showcase the thematic breadth of the release. “Meet The Parents” is a sugary anthem that dictates the rules for a casual relationship. “I could fly you out to Paris,” Kim sings. I could take you to New York, but you’ll never meet the parents.” It’s appropriately cheeky, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see lines like “I can make you fall in love, but I still ain’t your baby” popping up in Insta captions any day now.

In comparison, “Shinin'” seems to capture her ascent in the industry. “From the bottom, you come up,” she sings. “From nada to Prada, you know you’re a star.” There’s an inspirational twist on the verses and, of course, a gentle “woo-ah” to close things out. It pairs nicely with the title track, a crystalline bop that recognizes her value. “Clarity, I got clarity. I’m the bitch with the sauce, apparently,” she chants on the opening lines. And that brings us to the collection’s sugary bangers.

Of those, “Got My Number” emerges as the clear highlight. The rambunctious cut is unfiltered, fucks-free fun and should soundtrack any remaining Pride events for the rest of the year. “I don’t wanna be a good girl tonight. I just wanna be your bad girl, alright,” she belts as rollicking beats race under her voice. “Do Me” is an equally sexy bop. Only this slow burner is better suited for the bedroom. On it, Kim pleads with a lover to “kiss it, lick it, flip it,” like they’re playing with an X-rated Bop-It. I stan.

“Sweet Spot” is a more electro-kissed alternative. This one is instantly hummable and will remain on repeat in your head hours after an initial listen. The same could be said for “Blow It All.” “Can’t take it with ya, blow it all tonight,” Kim urges on the YOLO anthem’s chorus. That leaves us with “Personal Hell,” which is one of those stomping anthems she does so well. Here, there’s a certain brilliance to the way she tackles the line “only your hands make me come… alive” on the sing-along chorus.

Not only that, but the darkly brooding romp feels like it could fit on her Halloween mixtape. Perhaps it’s a hint of what to expect on Volume 2 this year? Either way, there’s enough on Clarity to keep fans wigless and well-fed for a couple of months. Lush with hits and emotional depth, it’s clear that Kim has found her sweet spot. Now that she’s done that, it’s only a waiting game to see what she does next.

Rating: 4/5

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