The Christmas album is nothing new. We know that. Nearly every artist has released at least a song from Michael Buble to Mariah Carey to Ariana Grande to Boney M. We have Christmas albums galore because unsurprisingly, everyone wants to cash in on that lucrative time of year.
The only issue is that now everyone has settled on the classics and won’t shift. We don’t want any new Christmas music – we just want to wallow in nostalgia. Why listen to anything new and we have just what we want in ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. That song basically marks the beginning of the festive season now.
However, what we’ve been lacking all this time is some good quality Halloween music . Sure we have the odd song here or there from Monster Mash to Thriller but we have sorely been missing a full-length album to celebrate spooky season.
So in comes Kim Petras, one of the hottest new independent music artists on the music scene and dubbed the new Princess of Pop. This year, she kindly released a new Halloween album Turn Off The Light at the beginning of October. Having teased it with creepily edited photos of herself, Petras has sought to cater to all your needs if you’re still looking for songs for your Halloween party playlist.
“Spooky bops” is the best way to describe the songs that make up the album. Petras, who grew up in Cologne, Germany, cites the late-1990s/early-2000s pop scene as the inspiration for her sound and that is certainly the case with Turn Off The Light, albeit with a haunted twist.
The album is synth-heavy for sure with a strong baseline for most songs. Autotune is frequently used too repeatedly as a tool to manipulate Petras’ high voice to sound less human. However don’t expect just your standard pop thoroughfare.
Petras has updated her 2018 Halloween EP to make the new album more creepy and in line with the current festive season. ‘Knives’ has as you’d expect brings in the tune with the sound of knives scraping each other and fades it out. Ghoulish screams can be heard in the background, as can mutated screams and haunting choir vocals.
This certainly makes for unusual club fare but perfect for Halloween. The lyrics are deliciously dark with opening banger ‘There Will Be Blood’ telling listeners they’ll “never make it through the night” while ‘Death by Sex’ that closes the first half of the album sees Petras embrace her inner darkness for “the devil always wins”.
The album could easily sound like any other pop album from the days of Katy Perry’s California Dream and Britney Spears-era, but Petras reinvents the dance-pop genre to put her own stamp on it. ‘TRANSylvania’, whose title is a statement in and of itself, plays like a weird EDM track introduced by the sound of heels, a deep bass that fades away into a guitar solo.
The album is very much Petras’ own. Her only guest star is Elvira. It may not be to everyone’s taste but Petras has certainly made an audience for herself having recently performed in front of large crowds at Reading and Leeds Festival and Manchester Pride Live.
Now have I been biased in the review of this album? Absolutely. It might shock you to find out at this point I’m actually a fan of Petras music. I mustc admit however, she’s not perfect, as her continued working relationship with producer Dr. Luke shows.
However, artists like Petras do operate in an important space outside the mainstream circles of what is “normal”. She’s a breath of fresh air in all the Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber singles. Seeing her perform live in Manchester, adorned in the colours of the transgender flag, was incredibly powerful and illustrates how rare an artist from Petras’ background is still on the music scene in 2019.
Each year Halloween keeps getting bigger so it’s time to start celebrating it in style.