Record label: Hollywood Records
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
On season two of The X-Factor, 19-year-old singer Bea Miller rose to fame. Her second studio album, aurora, is a compilation of the three EPs she released over the last year along with five new songs to create a high-energy pop album.
The first third part of aurora is a lament on love lost. On “burning bridges,” Miller vocalizes her inability to escape a toxic relationship, singing “Can’t stay away from you / I try, I try / but you’ve got a grip on my mind.” This song echoes the idea of inescapability on “i can’t breathe,” a ballad that accentuates Miller’s soft voice with rhythmic piano and a heavy string section.
On tracks such as “motherlove,” “like that,” “repercussions,” and “S.L.U.T.,” Miller expresses the concept of self-love atop bass-heavy tracks. “S.L.U.T.,” a song about body acceptance, utilizes a horn section to create an even more of a danceable number.
In “bored,” Miller desires to leave a partner who only intrigues her as a sexual object. The track finds Miller singing an instantly catchy chorus over simplistic guitar chords and intricate beats. “girlfriend,” on the other hand, expresses Miller’s desire for something purely physical from a man and is accompanied by messy guitar chords that echo her voice during the chorus, offering a modernized 70s rock song vibe.
The entire album is a statement about love, relationships, and the impact the two can have on a person. Aurora plays as an all-too-rare mix of thoughtful lyrics, sleek production values, and catchy tracks that are likely to thrust Miller into the spotlight of American pop music.