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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Doja demands attention for her new album ‘Scarlet’

Doja Cat’s album shows a new side of her
Fair use from Genius

With fame comes criticism. Doja Cat’s fourth studio album “Scarlet” came out Sept. 22. Doja received a lot of fame from her 2019 album “Hot Pink,” but when Doja released “Planet Her” in 2021, her fame reached a whole new level. “Planet Her” was nominated for album of the year at the 2022 grammys and spent 33 weeks on the billboard 200’s top 10. Doja Cat has a huge fan base with over 72 million monthly listeners on Spotify, so when she released her singles “Paint The Town Red,” “Demons” and “Attention,” there was a lot of backlash on social media for their “demonic” messages and sometimes childish lyrics. All eyes were on Doja when “Scarlet” was released. After listening to the album for the first time, I think it’s clear she is moving backwards in her career.

“Scarlet” is an album with 17 tracks, and with how popular Doja Cat is, it’s surprising that it has no features from other artists on the album. I was disappointed to see this, especially because she has had amazing features on past albums such as “Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)” and “Tia Tamera (feat. Rico Nasty).” Her new album has many rap songs, but also includes some R&B elements, which are built into songs like “Agora Hills” and “Ouchies.” However, it is clear with four studio albums under her belt such as “Planet Her” and “Hot Pink,” “Scarlet” cannot compete with her prior discography.

There were a couple of songs that positively stuck out to me. The first one being “Attention.” It was a single that was released prior to the debut of “Scarlet” but is still a vital part of the album. Doja took this song as a way to address a lot that was being said about her on social media, such as her change in appearance and her new alternative style. A lyric that she used to address the comments on her new appearance include “Lookin’ good, but now they all sayin’ that I’m ugly.” Which shows that she is confident and proud of her new found style. I think this song perfectly matches her new alternative persona with amazing vocals and mysterious undertones. Doja also took this release as a way to re-cement her place in the music industry after not releasing an album since 2021. 

Another song that stood out to me was the single “Paint The Town Red.” If you have been on social media since the release of “Paint The Town Red,” you’re most likely aware of the song. It reached No. 1 on the BillBoard Global 200 and was trending on TikTok. This is because it has a catchy beat and you can not help but sing and dance along to the song. The chorus is also catchy and can easily get stuck in your head. Her repetition of “She put her foot to the pedal. It’ll take a whole lot for me to settle (walk on by) mm, she the devil” gets engraved in your head, and I often catch myself singing the chorus. The music video was also different and not something you usually see in the media. Its graphic nature and alternative style only propelled this song further in people’s hearts.

Two songs that I believe aren’t getting the love they deserve from this album are “Agora Hills” and “Go Off.” I love these songs both for the same reason. While listening to these songs you can’t help but hear the strong sounds of R&B music. They both have a very fun aura to them and “Agora Hills” especially has me reminiscing on 90s R&B music because they have similar flows and beats. As Doja Cat’s career has grown, so have her talents for making R&B music, and these songs showed she can compete with other R&B artists. 

This album by no means has any terrible songs, but one song I was not impressed with and could not see myself listening to again is “97.” This song sounded like almost every other song by Doja. There was absolutely nothing in this song that made it stand out from her discography. This song’s beat felt rushed and unfinished, and there was not much depth to her lyrics.

Doja Cat surprised fans when she released “FYM Freestyle.” Doja isn’t an artist people usually associate with free styling, but with this song Doja proved that she could freestyle. I think it’s time people gave Doja her flowers for her ability to make excellent music on a whim. It is incredibly impressive that she could come up with a lyric like “Adrenaline pumping and blood’ll be Leaking and running” on the fly. A task many modern day rappers could not complete.

“Demons” was a song Doja used to poke fun at all the talk on social media around the fact that some people believe she “sold her soul to the devil” for fame. She replies to these comments by repeatedly saying “How my Demons look (ayy, yeah).” Her music video plays into this joke as Doja recreates scenes from the famous movie “The Conjuring” and dresses up as a demon. While many people saw this as iconic, others saw it as demonic.

Overall, “Scarlet” by Doja Cat was a good album, but as we can see from her discography she is capable of making better music. In the future, I hope to see her creating more music and leaning more into her R&B talents rather than her Pop/Hip-Hop. If she proved one thing in this album, it’s that she can write really catchy and flowy R&B music.

“Scarlet”: ★★★☆☆

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About the Contributor
Miles Johnson
Miles Johnson, Echo Staffer
Hey y'all! My names Miles, I'm a junior when I'm not in the #pub I'm thrifting, baking, cooking or hanging out with friends. I'm super excited to be a part of Echo for my first year! And I'm excited to get to know our amazing editor and staff this year!

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