The Student News Site of Traverse City West Senior High

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist


Should School Personnel Be Armed?

  • No (55%, 17 Votes)
  • Yes (45%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

Loading ... Loading ...

“Underdressed at the Symphony” Album Review

Did Webster hit the mark or miss?

  Faye Webster, an Atlanta based singer-songwriter, released her fifth studio album, “Underdressed at the Symphony” this past Friday. Webster, usually known for her bluegrass and indie roots, has grown more confident and experimental with her mixing and production. Since Webster released her album “Atlanta’s Millionaires Club” in 2019, the resurgence of string and brass instruments merged with a unique indie sound and lyrical quips really sets Webster apart. This album was promised to be a love letter to her music past and a glimpse into what the future holds for the artist, all with help from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. However, it has difficulty standing up compared to past albums and lyricism.

  The album, despite having an entire symphony behind it, comes off as quiet and obscure at some moments. It centers around heartbreak for the majority but also dives into struggles with fame and friendships as well. Although Webster writes all her lyrics on her own, they come off as dull and slightly repetitive throughout the record. Instead of Webster’s usual poetic choruses, the “Underdressed at the Symphony” choruses repeat the same phrase over and over again, trying to shine a limelight on the band and symphony, which works for some songs, such as “But Not Kiss” and “Tttttime” where the production is really the driving point home, but less for others. However, Webster does an outstanding job showcasing Atlanta’s different music scenes and artists, such as Charles Garner on drums and her childhood friend, Lil Yachty, joining her on the song “Lego Ring.” 

  What Webster did poorly on, however, was the overuse of autotune. Art and music is fluid, and it changes alongside the artist as they change and develop; being experimental is part of that process. That seems to be the case with Webster. There’s nothing wrong with a little autotune, as it makes the vocals sound smoother and more velvety, but an overabundance of it can destroy a song and make it unlistenable, such as “Feeling Good Today.” Some amazing albums have primarily autotune backing it up entirely, such as Kanye West’s “808’s & Heartbreak,” T-Pain’s “Epiphany” and Metro Boomin’s “Heros & Supervillains.” I’m not saying those albums aren’t experimental, on the contrary, they defined generations and were inspirations for musical artists to follow, but they don’t dive into as many genres as Webster, and are primarily rap/pop-focused. It’s completely possible to have an experimental symphonic folk/jazz/rock/bluegrass album, but there were just too many things going on at once.

  Overall, Webster’s album reached a little too far, and didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. The themes were unusually light, and besides the weird editing and autotune, it was a fun listen, and I appreciate the reach she attempted to make.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Tess Tarchak-Hiss
Tess Tarchak-Hiss, Section Editor, Page Designer
Tess Tarchak-Hiss is a sophomore in her second year of newspaper. She is currently a journalist and chose to take this class to improve her AP writing skills, and because she has an interest in journalism. In her free time, Tess likes to roller skate, play guitar, and watch movies.  

Comments (0)

All The Occidentalist Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *