Picture perfect


Alex Konvalina, Social Media Editor

Skylar Grey’s third studio album, Natural Causes, released on Sept. 23, introduces a chilling, alternative theme which isn’t present in her previous works, “Don’t Look Down” and “Like Blood, Like Honey.” Her album has been highly anticipated following her song “Wreak Havoc” on the Suicide Squad Soundtrack.

The overly-simplistic pop-songs of her last album “Don’t Look Down” became repetitive so fans hoped for something new in Natural Causes, and the overall sound is surprising, an entirely different vibe from her other albums.

The theme is evident right away – moody and spacey, with dark-electric beats, perfect for listening to late at night when you’re in deep thought. It might take a few listens to get hooked, but once you do, you can’t stop.

Not everything is refreshing, though. “Jump” brings in electric guitars, booming bass and scattered vocals, but it drones on and becomes vibration-heavy. The word “jump” is just repeated multiple times.

“Kill for You” features Grey’s mentor, rapper Eminem, whom she has collaborated with numerous times. It delivers a combination of guitar, nice melodies and a technical verse for Eminem.

Later on in the album, Grey tries out rapping in a few sections, specifically in “Picture Perfect”. This brings in a hip-hop feel, reminding fans of previous albums, but the song lacks any movement, and it flat-lines.

For electronic dance music fans, “Off Road” steers clear of the crawling, mellow sound of the other songs. It uses electronic sounds and beats to accompany her voice.

“Come up for Air” is one of the best songs Grey has produced. Her skilled vocals have great transitions and soft riffs. The combination of falsetto and a harder beat brings the song together.

In the beginning, the monotone theme works well, but when she tries to incorporate it in every song, it does hurt the overall product. The approach doesn’t fit well with songs like “Real World.”

While most of the songs on the album paint a picture and provide a narrative with the creative lyrics, “Straight Shooter” fails to and rather has a mess of jumbled lyrics. The beat resembles the sound of a kid hitting a kitchen pot, it overpowers her voice.

With the incorporation of her falsetto voice and mixed sounds, Grey creates a simplistic masterpiece using her skilled vocals and different music.