Album Review // Chappell Roan // The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess
If you like fun, clever, brilliant pop music, this album is for you. This epic debut from the Missouri-born Kayleigh Rose Amstutz — better known as Chappell Roan — is shockingly exciting and much anticipated, following a trickle of single releases. The record has 14 songs — predominantly self-written each one distinctly memorable. The first three tracks arrive one after another in quick succession, each a club-ready banger, culminating with the tongue-in-cheek self-critique of "Femininomenon," its self-aware hyperpop firing hard. Then comes the piano ballad "Coffee," wonderfully widening Roan's already colorful palette. The shift-up of "Casual" proves to the listener that Roan is a force to be reckoned with — a queer pop figure capable of truly great things. Existing somewhere between the comic cartoonishness of Remi Wolf and the heartfelt diary entries of Lucy Dacus, Chappell Roan has made one of the greatest albums of 2023. At times crude, but always authentic, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is one of the strongest debuts in recent memory, portending a collision course with superstardom. With the post-Madonna tones of "Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl" and the unbridled teenage fun of "HOT TO GO," this is an album that's varied, dramatic, and always ready for a night out.