ALBUM REVIEW: GIRLI is at her best on ‘Odd One Out’

This one has been a long time coming, and oh boy is it worth the wait…

GIRLI has been churning out effervescent punk-pop hits ever since 2015 and now releases her hotly anticipated debut album, Odd One Out. Start to finish fun – riotous, middle-finger up pop with a huge heart – this is GIRLI at her very best.

Latest single ‘Deal With It’ kicks off proceedings with a bang, GIRLI cranking her trademark electropop to a feverous tempo that won’t let up for the record’s full 30 minutes. ‘Day Month Second’ also makes the cut, a 2018 single that really set the tone for this era the singer has coined “GIRLI 2.0”. Fans will also recognise ‘Young’, rolled out last September, a fizzing protest against the difficulties of growing up.

Just like those singles, every track (short interlude ‘Fake Friends’ aside) off Odd One Out is anthemic. That’s what GIRLI does so well. The 21-year-old has a way of speaking for a generation of misfits that no other artists in the game can come close too. Set it to her fist-pumping production and it’s a lethal recipe. 

What is striking about Odd One Out is it’s so much more than nine party tracks. Sure, if you head down to one of GIRLI’s shows this month you’ll see a sea of colourful, sweaty teenagers… but they’ll be hanging on to every lyric too. Behind all the production, GIRLI isn’t afraid to take big swings at big topics, and never misses. 

‘Hot Mess’ is the pop star’s most successful track to date, surpassing a million streams on Spotify, and is a fearless calling out of sexism in music industry – it comes bang splat in the middle of Odd One Out. An outspoken feminist, the singer often voices her desire to subvert the dated connotations that come with being “girly” and ‘Pink’ sees her use the colour to assert her dominance of a trifling fling. She delivers, “you think you’ve got me, but I’ve got you seeing in pink” with a wink. 

Elsewhere, ‘Up & Down’, premiered at live shows last year, is even better as a studio version and perhaps Odd One Out’s best moment. In it GIRLI speaks of her battles with mental health, something her young audience know all too well, before brushing it all away with thumping drums. A certain fan-favourite. 

Odd One Out has been a long time coming and with its arrival it’s clear – what GIRLI does, she does better than anyone else. Odd One Out is everything fans want and more. GIRLI never disappoints. 

Rating: 4/5

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Written by Toby Bryant

By-lines: The Courier, NME, GigWise, The Daily Mirror, FourFourTwo & British Rowing, amongst others.
Twitter: @toby_bryant_
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