Alternative has reached a real peak in the ten's - we've even seen the likes of Lorde tap into it on her second album. But it's the bubbling underground that still continues to create the most entertaining, definitive and thought-provoking music. Self Esteem consists of Rebecca Taylor (formerly of Slow Club) and this is her debut album as part of her solo venture which was produced by Django Django's Dave McLean.
The production on this album is phenomenal, the cascading differences between the songs flow so well that it creates a whole project rather than a collection of potential singles, which is always the danger with pop music. Compliments Please deals with the aftermath of a break up and all of the things that Taylor goes through with those emotions, from her revelations that the mother of her ex always hated her to the acquaintances she makes after the break up to deal with it.
Sometimes Rebecca attempts to use auto tune, presumably as an artistic effect but most of the time it just falls flat - I feel that it's a trope that has been overused so much by now that I'm sick of it. Not to mention that at times the album takes a weird pace change, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, I am particularly a fan of the interludes though which break up the pace nicely and although this is only 40-odd minutes long it does start to feel longer in places.
But where this album really comes into its own is the raw, visceral and upfront lyrics and singing - Rebecca Taylor's pure, unadulterated honesty with her lyrics makes this album all that much more personal and, in places, beautiful. During songs such as "In Time" and "Steady I Stand" she really puts a lot of the other alternative pop artists to shame and builds a world around the songs.