Starting 2021 off with a bang, Alycia Bella released her debut album, ‘Muse’. Accompanied by 14 tracks that are as honest and soul-searching as they come, the project is filled with raw, candid lyrics, and an angelic voice that floats in and out of every song. The emotionally-rich lyrics touch the subjects of relationships, self love, and empowerment, all while keeping a mesmerizing R&B rhythm. After 34 minutes have passed, and you’ve reached the ever so heartbreaking and self reflecting ‘Bloom‘ you’re yearning for more.
The album begins on a promising note with ‘Cue The Sun‘ featuring WESTSIDE BOOGIE. The song has a nice beat and flowing lyrics, until WESTSIDE BOOGIE’s verse where that all disappears. His voice doesn’t fit the calming R&B style of the song and almost seems edited in as his flat ‘singing’/rap continues. Despite this, the lyrics were the highlight and managed to carry the song with verses like: “you lift me up when I feel grounded, uh / we feel alone when we surrounded”.
Other than that, the rest of the album sustains itself strongly as it shifts into ‘God, Drugs and You,’ a much more melodic and delicate song carried with its consistent and powerful beat. ‘Dark Art‘ is a refined self-reflection piece about the pattern of constantly getting into toxic relationships while knowing your value. The lyrics are impactful, and show a double-edged reflection when Bella reminds herself she’s a “work of art”, but hurting when she says; “I don’t wanna fight with myself, not tonight / ’Cause I’ll just lose”.
On another note, ‘Daylight Saving‘ is short and sombre. Musically, it’s a change from the steady R&B sound through the album to a more acoustic feel. A guitar is plucked steadily through the song while she reflects on a wasted relationship and time she wishes she could have back: “For the time that you stole back waiting / yeah, you owe me daylight savings.”
‘Something’s in the Water‘ is one of the peaks of the project. An honestly vulnerable song about fearing heartbreak carried with a soaring yet delicate singing voice that seems bitter-sweet while Bella sings “I wonder why we can’t seem to see eye to eye / Oh, we are so bad at goodbyes”.
The second-to-last track is simply a timeless love song titled ‘Seasons‘, that gives hope after all the treacherous relationships covered throughout the album. The romantic lyrics seem to shimmer as a steady beat trails through the song, while Alycia croons the words: “Just like the sun, you rose from nowhere / and melt me in two / Everything is right / When you’re by my side”.
Ending on a mellow, soft, and almost gloomy mood, ‘Bloom‘ manages to tie up the entire album, and tell a story on its own. An ode to self acceptance and growth, it ends with letting go to make space for something new.
Overall, it seems safe to say that this won’t be the last we’ll hear of Alycia Bella. If she continues to pursue music with her sublime way of wording lyrics and her celestial voice, there is no doubt that success will graciously meet her in the music world.