Bebe Rexha | Bebe Review
by Bea Willis
Bebe Rexha, the multi-platinum pop sensation, hits the music scene with the release of her third album, Bebe. Released under the banner of Warner Records, the album is a mixture of styles and sounds. From the surprising country ballad “Seasons,” a powerful duet with country music icon Dolly Parton, to the bold club anthem “Call on Me,” Rexha showcases an unexpected breadth of artistic depth and diversity. Despite this, it’s difficult to shake off the feeling that the album falls short of creating a lasting impact. Her third Grammy nomination and recent wins at the 2023 iHeart Radio Music Awards and MTV EMAs undoubtedly prove Rexha’s place in pop music’s Hall of Fame. However, Bebe’s 12 seemingly perfect pop compositions suggest a distinct sense of over-ambition that somewhat dilutes the raw emotional appeal that Rexha can produce.
The album kicks off with “Heart Wants What It Wants,” a synthesis of EDM and pop elements that escalate into a dramatic crescendo. However, Rexha’s vocal talents seem obscured by an over-reliance on production effects. Her voice, ordinarily captivating in its raw beauty, gets lost amidst the synthetic tweaks, particularly within the verses. The song does reach an engaging peak, filled with striking vocal flourishes and a pleasantly surprising shift in the harmony for the cadence, but this could have come sooner. Yet, it feels as though this track missed the mark of truly becoming a commanding anthem for the dance floor. One can’t help but imagine the possibility of a rhythmic breakdown, a sudden harmonic twist within the song form, or a fresh component to inject a surge of energy before the song’s climax. Regrettably, with its tremendous potential, this track ended up feeling like a missed opportunity.
“Born Again” seems to be a clear attempt to appeal to the Christian AC audience. However, its placement in the album’s sequence disrupts the overall flow. Rexha’s vocal skills are undeniable, and her passionate growls and buzzes on accent notes infuse the track with raw emotion. Yet, the song feels basic, falling into the trap of sounding like another run-of-the-mill inspirational tune. Adding a choir and a guitar solo that gradually builds to a full-band sound makes for an effective crescendo, yet it only partially saves the track from feeling misplaced. One can’t help but think that it could have been merged with “I Am” to create a single, more impactful composition. Despite Rexha’s best efforts, “Born Again” struggles to maintain the album’s coherence.
In conclusion, Bebe Rexha’s Bebe presents twelve tracks that are as eclectic as they are ambitious. Rexha’s vocal dexterity is evident as she navigates various genres and styles. However, the persistent jerks between genres tend to grate rather than entertain, and the moments of overly-produced vocals only add to the frustration. The grandeur that this album promises feels underwhelmingly delivered, highlighting a need for more focus in its conception. The album suffers from a classic case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, with the production, mixing, and mastering stages appearing cluttered and unfocused. This is an unfortunate occurrence for an artist of Rexha’s caliber. Despite the album’s shortcomings, it’s crucial to note that Rexha’s vocal ability remains unscathed. There’s no denying that she can sing. While Bebe falls short of the mark, there’s a clear testament to Rexha’s talent and potential for future ventures.
Release Date: April 28, 2023
Label: Warner Records
About the author
With an unwavering passion for music that began at the tender age of five, I embarked on a journey of self-expression through the piano, later expanding my repertoire to the guitar and the art of singing. As a seasoned performer in cozy coffee shops and harmonious choir ensembles, I've immersed myself in the diverse tapestry of musical genres, seeking to uncover the intricate qualities that strike a chord within our souls.
Beyond my personal experiences, my journalistic pursuits have led me to explore the stories and inspirations behind the melodies we hold dear. As a music journalist, I aim to delve into the heart of each composition, shedding light on the creative minds that have shaped the soundscape of our lives.
In my downtime, you can find me serenading my loyal canine companion with heartfelt tunes on the guitar or indulging in retail therapy to enhance my ever-growing wardrobe. Songwriting holds a special place in my heart, and I yearn for the day when I can share my creative talents with the world. Until then, my passion for uncovering the emotional power within music continues to drive my insightful reviews and analyses, as I journey through the rich landscape of melodies that move us.