Scarlet Doja Cat’s Sonic Brilliance Fades in Repetitive Shadows

Estimated read time 2 min read

Public figures who intentionally distance themselves from their fans usually face consequences, but when Doja Cat essentially dismissed her entire fanbase earlier this year, it seemed like the ultimate power move. Despite losing over a quarter of a million Instagram followers, who she condescendingly referred to as “Kittenz,” she managed to amplify the hype around her. Prior to this incident, she hinted that much of her industry work was driven by money, perceived by fans as a backhanded slap to those who had supported her from the beginning. The promotional campaign for her fourth studio album, “Scarlet,” heavily relied on the controversy surrounding her in 2023. Leading up to its release, she embraced her reputation as a provocateur and released four demonic hit singles, positioning the album as a strong contender for the year’s hottest.

However, after the complete tracklist became public, it became clear that the most exciting moments of this chapter had been exhausted. Beyond the initial excitement of the first listen, the repetitive lyrical content of most songs stood out, resembling the commercial records she had vowed to distance herself from. Doja Cat asserted her dominance and refused to apologize for her bold sexuality, aligning herself with the devil in the process. Despite her attempts to showcase her rapping skills, Doja Cat failed to move beyond the established idiosyncrasies. Scarlet positioned her to either reach new heights or crash dramatically, but instead, the album barely moved the needle.

The four promotional singles, such as “Attention,” “Paint the Town Red,” “Demons,” and “Balut,” encapsulated key themes but lost their impact when surrounded by 17 other compositions using the same ingredients. The album, while sonically impressive, lacks the cohesiveness to secure a lasting legacy. Although commendable for its rich flavors and consistent vocal delivery, particularly in tracks like “Can’t Wait” and “Skulls and Bones,” the album struggles to escape its repetitive patterns. Lines like “I wanna show you off” and “You must do this often” stand out for their divergence from the core themes but cannot salvage the album’s overall impression. In the end, Scarlet may be worth hearing for its sound, but it fails to stand the test of time. Rather than elevating her catalog, it weakens Doja Cat’s distinctive qualities, revealing an attempt to be different that ultimately circles back to tried-and-tested formulas. It’s a darker paint job, but the interior remains unchanged.

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