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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Girl in red abandons the “alternative” in alternative pop with her latest album, I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!

girl in red
Girl in red’s 2024 album cover for “IM DOING IT AGAIN BABY!”, depicting her running in front of a sign advertising the release.

It’s natural that, as she has changed from being an unknown Norwegian artist to a well-established singer with two complete albums under her belt, girl in red’s musical sound has shifted. However, that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

On April 12, alternative pop artist girl in red released her sophomore album, I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!, the follow-up to her debut album, if i could make it go quiet, from 2021. Even though I’ve been a relatively loyal fan of her music since 2020, I was skeptical of the latest release due to the direction her music has been heading. 

Throughout the 2020s, girl in red has shed her indie shell and adopted the role of one of the leading artists of the alternative pop genre. By providing sounds for many popular TikTok trends, opening for Taylor Swift on the Eras Tour, and signing with Columbia Records, she has been increasingly becoming a focus of the media’s eye. 

As one of the singles for I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!, she released the song most representative of the album titled “DOING IT AGAIN BABY.” 

The track can undoubtedly be characterized as pop and is a fairly accurate representation of how girl in red’s style is becoming increasingly mainstream. Frankly, it is my least favorite off the album and, initially, scared me away from her new music. Upon the single’s release, I’m not sure I even made it through a full first listen before bailing, already having determined that I was disappointed in the direction her artistry was headed. 

The perky beat and fast-paced tempo sound is worlds away from the work of her early career; in fact, “DOING IT AGAIN BABY” almost sounds like it could be a hit from any other mainstream artist, not a work special to girl in red. Although, I respect that she seems to be releasing some music with more self-assured messages than she has in the past—possibly denoting a better path in her personal life—I wouldn’t consider her artistic execution to be as admirable as it could be. 

In the chorus, she repeats, “I’m on a new level / Something’s got me feeling like I could be inflammable / And I might be!” which, although hopeful, is a tad too chipper for my taste. 

While I understand that the song is the album’s title track, the song’s refrain and outro repeat the line, “I’m doing it again, doing it again (baby),” in a country-esque fashion that doesn’t fit and becomes too repetitive. 

On the final single released, “You Need Me Now? (feat. Sabrina Carpenter),” she further cements her position as a pop artist. However, this song feels a bit more on par with her traditional style because of its high energy and resentment. 

The perky beat and fast-paced tempo sound worlds away from the work of her early career; in fact, “DOING IT AGAIN BABY” almost sounds like it could be a hit from any other mainstream artist, not a work special to girl in red.

The pop element of the track is enforced by the feature of Carpenter, who joins in near the end. Although her part is my favorite portion of the song—and debatably the catchiest—their collaboration feels random for they, at least in the past, seem to produce relatively different types of music. 

Nonetheless, “You Need Me Now?” is fast-paced and angry, heavily supported by drums and prominent background noises, and has been stuck in my head as I’ve been writing this review. 

“Too Much,” one of my most-liked tracks of the album, has an upbeat rhythm contradicted by the theme of an unhealthy relationship. This is summed up in the lyrics: “You always found a way to bring me down, you trivialised everything.” 

The track feels closer related to girl in red’s debut album with its focus on pining and heartbreak, rather than the bubblier aura of the new release. 

Lastly, on “A Night to Remember,” she further channels the sounds of if i could make it go quiet by creating a track that sounds a bit like an eventful winter night—per the song title. 

Although I enjoy the song’s more serious topic, the lyricism lacks the emotional depth it has the potential for. As an example, in the first verse, she sings, “What if I didn’t go out that night? / Took a left instead of a right? / Yeah, missed you by a red light.”

While I wouldn’t hold her to writing a Shakespearean-depth level piece, I’m disappointed by the vapidness of the lyrics of “A Night To Remember.” As much as I hate to say this, because I do enjoy girl in red’s more ethereal-feeling songs, the track fits into the increasingly tried category of shallow songs that are attempting a “deep” approach by recalling a memory.

Despite my critical view of I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!, I did want to enjoy the album. Even so, her sophomore album unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to the music she has released before it, so I am left disappointed.  I wouldn’t consider it to be so horrible that I would never shuffle the album from time to time, but it’s safe to say that it will never become a true, frequently rotated favorite. 

While girl in red may be increasingly gaining popularity on a mainstream level, I hope that, in the future, she doesn’t allow the best parts of her style to be destroyed by the industry.

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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