Rina Sawayama - 'Hold The Girl'

8/10

Upon the release of her stunning debut album 'SAWAYAMA' in 2020, Rina Sawayama was quickly dubbed as the future of the British pop scene. While her sound largely fell into the commercial realm, the broad and diverse approach to its aesthetic gave her an instantly identifiable feel that cemented her as one of the most exciting names to have emerged from that year. And while her time since has revolved around collaborative efforts, she has now returned to deliver her highly-anticipated sophomore LP 'Hold The Girl', a record that looks to continue that progressive flair.

Throughout 'Hold The Girl', Sawayama is proving herself just as adventurous and unshakable as ever. While this new collection veers a little further away from the radio-friendly gloss of her initial effort, it still very much roots itself into a pop dynamic, largely embracing a flurry of outsider genres in order to keep the momentum moving forward. Although there aren't as many tender or truly heartfelt moments on this new offering, she is clearly building a repertoire designed for stadium-filling shows to suit her ever-growing fanbase, and create a wonderfully vibrant experience from start to finish.

Given how innovative her initial releases were, there was never any doubt that 'Hold The Girl' would look to follow the same formula. Brimming with fresh and exciting production that wears its influences firmly on its sleeve, she feels far more confident and assured within herself this time around, showing us a far more inviting side to herself.

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