Have U Seen Her?
ALMA’s debut album has been in the works since she broke into the UK charts with ‘Chasing Highs’ (now certified BPI Platinum). Along the way she released a second EP, wrote songs with Miley Cyrus, wrote songs for Ariana Grande and Lyndsey Lohan, opened for Christina Aguilera and toured with Tove Lo. Originally slated for release in the 5th of April 2019 “Have U Seen Her?” has been repeatedly pushed back until it was finally completed. Initially, “Cowboy”, “When I Die”, “Summer” and “Lonely Night” were released as singles, until she elected to remove them and focus on newer tracks. The album has seen a droplet release schedule, with two three-track EPs preceding the release. In a Q&A she recently justified this decision with “**** the rules”, that sentiment truly bleeds into her debut record and it’s glorious
The opening track, “Have U Seen Her?”, serves as a strange introduction to the album. This electro-pop banger continues her adoration for parties, present in the majority of her discography, but seriously progresses her sound into uncharted territory. At first I was thrown off, but this is a pretty flawless introduction.
It doesn’t take long for the album to take an introspective turn into heartfelt mid-tempo territory. ALMA’s songwriting skill has clearly developed immensely over the course of the last few years, during which she has co-written countless tracks with notable industry figures. These tracks tie the album together thematically, lending tremendous weight to the lighter moments on the record. Where, in isolation, “Bad News Baby” reads as a simple feel-good up-tempo, in the context of the album it’s about ALMA getting into a more confident headspace, following doubts surrounding her place in the music scene of Los Angeles. Have U Seen Her’s softer moments are compounded by ALMA’s powerful and versatile vocals. She brings an unseen vulnerability to these new tracks that catapult her to astronomically higher places than her previous releases.
That’s not to say that Have U Seen Her’s absent of fun, it brings it in spades. Worst Behaviour, Stay All Night, Loser, there are bangers all over this thing.
The album is structured to tell the story of her life over the last few years.
“Have U Seen Her?” is representative of her headspace before she blew up, her anticipation. “LA Money” to “Stay All Night” chronicle the issues she faced when finally confronted with the elusive ‘LA’, with “Bad News Baby” confronting these issues. “Nightmare” to “Find Me” explore the personal issues that she’s facing in her new circumstances. “Loser” and “Final Fantasy” present her coming to terms with where she is in life, finally accepting her new life, having worked through her issues. It’s a triumphant finale to an excellently structured album.
I had some exceptionally high expectations for this album, and it met them, easily. I am truly shocked by how cohesive the project feels, whilst simultaneously containing such wildly diverse tracks. I’m totally infatuated with this project and I can’t wait for whatever’s next. 8/10.
Highlights: Have U Seen Her?, LA Money and Nightmare
Link to the album:
These are the tracks she left off the album, I highly recommend them: