BIBI is unlike any other within K-Pop. Her unbreakable confidence has seen her address taboos and tackle topics that many are unafraid to touch. Known for her unwavering performance and narrative driven lyrics, BIBI has always been a standalone in terms of her artistry. After other successful releases such as the 2021 EP ‘Life is a Bi…’, BIBI returns with her highly anticipated debut album ‘Lowlife Princess: Noir’, a distinct collection of tracks guided by a formidable heroine.
‘Lowlife Princess: Noir’ is a cinema. Each track represents a different screen showing a plethora of films. As the album progresses we are guided through tales of rebellion, empowerment, societal reflection and unforgotten loves. Yet, the intricate narrative and carefully curated sounds become individual to each track. Opening with a wordless instrumental, apart from a whispering “I need you”, BIBI quickly moves into ‘Blade’, a blunt comparison of the power of words and weapons that leads to a cutting EDM chorus.
‘BIBI Vengence’ is the pinnacle of the album. A latin-inspired backing is highlighted through BIBI’s narrative of an unconventional queen. An unnerving antihero is the protagonist that gives connotations of violence, solidarity and justice. BIBI’s chorus is unwavering, with her repetition translating to “bad bitch”. Similarly the next track, ‘Animal Farm’, builds on the already pretty high suspension. Taking a more sinister approach, BIBI comments on the world of the rich as she sings: “Is it a farm? Is it society?”
Interrupting the heavier sounds is ‘Sweet Sorrow Of Mother’, a quick, yet prominent interlude. A leaping piano follows BIBI’s sweet vocals as she confesses her willingness to love. This softer sound continues into ‘Loverholic’s Hangerover’ which includes the only feature on the album, Sam Kim. Utilising a glistening piano, both singers reminisce about a failed lover using the chorus to repeatedly ask the question “why?” ‘Lowlife Princess’ does a complete U-turn and utilises a trap beat to introduce BIBI’s whispering raps that are subtly asking for forbidden acts. Final track ‘City Love’ ends with a pop rock inspired track, asking a lover to save her from unwavering city life.
The world of ‘Lowlife Princess: Noir’ is vivid, BIBI has used her immense storytelling ability to create animated characters that are so easily able to be envisioned. BIBI’s world of power, love, revenge and war is captivating. Her ability to cultivate such a lucid image is rare. Despite only being her debut album, ‘Lowlife Princess: Noir’ is frighteningly notable.
Words: Abbie Aitken