Makes you curious for more...
Divided Theoretical Girl


Amy Turnnidge, a.k.a. Theoretical Girl, exhibits an eclectic yet consistent style on this debut album that makes you curious about the contents of her record collection.

At the heart of this record are sparkling, perfectly constructed pop songs, brimming with catchy choruses and joyful hand clapping. But, within moments, that delicate facade can fall away sharply to reveal an aggressive indie stance pulsing with electro madness: the electronic skittishness of ‘Red Mist’ melts away to ‘Never Good Enough’, which is closer to chamber music than anything that belongs on the dance floor, is a good example of this juxtaposing of arrangements.

From these extremes, though, Turnnidge can cleverly pull things back to somewhere in between – maybe with programmed drums, maybe a bit heavy on the cello, arriving somewhere between Big Star and all things baroque. Tying everything together like a massive tulle bow are her sugary sweet vocals, whether she’s dreaming of the boy she once loved or sneering at an unnamed someone’s hypocrisy.

In many ways, the album is about love, though there is no loving relationship to describe. At best, it’s dysfunctional or unrequited; at worst there’s the possibility that it’s emotionally abusive. There are the overly critical boyfriends that warrant a couple of mentions and the would-be loves too oblivious to understand her feelings, but mostly it is our Theoretical Girl herself that is the bad guy: the one who couldn’t commit, who wasn’t appreciative or loving enough, and who has required the perspective that comes with age to appreciate the love she lost.

That Turnnidge is a rather clever lyricist complements the music magically – she is less concerned with painting herself in an innocent light, and instead boldly reflects on relationships with friends, lovers and counterparts in a not necessarily flattering fashion. Because Turnnidge is so self aware, she is able to be human. This honesty, as much as her songs, makes Theoretical Girl not only catchy but also rather endearing, and her innovative debut begs for more, if only to find out if she ever got her boy back.

8/10

Theoretical Girl - 'The Hypocrite'

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