Three years after the release of her hit project “Hot Pink”, Doja Cat takes listeners on a journey to “Planet Her”, a world dominated by female empowerment, lust and luxury. The highly anticipated project was released on June 25, and the 14-track album packs a punch with infectious melodies and catchy rap verses. Doja’s success in building a dynamic soundscape comes at the expense of lyricism, resulting in rambling and flat lyrics.
Doja Cat’s rise to fame may have been sporadic and exponential, but in reality, his presence in the music industry has spanned several years. Doja’s “memeable” track “MOOO! First propelled her into the limelight. Her second album, “Hot Pink,“ only took off when several of its runways exploded on TikTok. From “Say So” to “Streets” it was nearly impossible to ignore Doja in 2020. However, with a few standout tracks, “Hot Pink” has only scratched the surface of Doja’s untapped talent.
The singles of “Planet Her”, “Kiss Me More” and “Need to Know” are on two completely different musically, showcasing Doja’s versatility as an artist. “Kiss Me More”, a flirtatious track with cheeky lyrics and groovy guitar chords accompanied by an unexpected feature from R&B Princess SZA, is a refreshing summer track. The synths and dreamlike vocals are reminiscent of “Hot Pink”, which plays with elements of 70s pop music. “Kiss Me More” serves as the perfect bridge between the two projects, lyrically dipping into “Planet Her” while melodically recalling “Hot Pink”.
“Need To Know”, on the other hand, is a futuristic rap song that feels more modern with thrilling 808s and cosmic instrumentals. Doja leans into his classic rap voice, adding his signature flair to the racy verses and vocalizing throughout the chorus. Her scorching pun is the highlight of the track, reminiscent of her explosive anthem “Cyber Sex” from “Hot Pink”. With lyrics like “Clink with the drink, Gimme a Sip / Tell me what’s your kink, give me the dick”, she continues to explore feelings of sexuality and passion the Doja way.
A handful of tracks from “Planet Her” particularly exude personality and charisma, the same energy that made “Hot Pink” such a success. If Doja was developing her own style in “Hot Pink,” “she found her sound in“ Planet Her. ”Almost all the risks Doja takes pay off, as in“ Get Into It (Yuh) ”, where she channels her inner mumble rapper, or in “Woman”, where Doja successfully tackles an Afrobeat-influenced instrumental. These artistic endeavors make “Planet Her” more exciting compared to her previous works. confined by the pressures to make number one tubes and now expresses all facets of its imaginative integrity.
After the success of “Say So”, Doja’s team pushed her to develop hits. From several remixes of “Say So”, including the number one hit version with Nicki Minaj, to countless performances at awards shows, Doja continually pushed “Say So” in the hope of repeat success. The artist even expressed his own frustrations with his team on Twitter, saying “I’m tired of saying that too yall.” However, with “Planet Her,” Doja seems to be in a much better place.
“I think it’s important for me not to put that pressure on myself or it will eat me alive. If I can just be myself, that’s probably the best thing for me, ”she said in an interview with Billboard.
Unfortunately, not all of its creative risks materialize, especially with “Imagine”. Doja tries to paint a picture of the grandiose world in which she lives, where she “saucines” with [her] thousands on an island. Seems like Doja doesn’t even have much to say on the subject, other than leading an unimaginably luxurious life, resulting in a track lacking lyrical expressiveness. The monotonous chorus, tense use of preset, and convoluted verses make this a bombastic song that fails to encapsulate flex culture in the same way its counterpart Ariana Grande did with the hit “7 Rings” . Although Doja is known for her lively and ironic world-playing, lyrics like “Thick as fuck but all I eat is salad” make it hard to take the song or its feeling of opulence seriously.
Although it creates cohesion through unique production and instrumental choices, “Planet Her” ends up falling flat lyrically when viewed as a full body of works. Instead of creating an immersive world as the album title suggests, the tracklist looks like a mishmash of themes that are pieced together to create “Planet Her”. From top to bottom, Doja struggles to tell a cohesive story. Random moments of sadness are sprinkled towards the end of the album, perhaps in an attempt to create depth. For example, “Alone” loses all of its weight when followed by “Kiss Me More”, which expresses the completely opposite feeling. Especially in light of how the first two tracks “Woman” and “Naked” work together with similar themes of femininity and sexual empowerment, it is disappointing to see the consistency of the album slowly fade away. end.
In “Planet Her”, Doja learns to look into her quirks and strengths, building on the foundations she built in “Hot Pink”. The natural evolution of his past projects is what makes this new album so simple. In “Planet Her”, Doja finally begins to trust her artistic intuition and takes creative liberties. Hopefully, as Doja continues her journey as a musician, she begins to focus on her lyricism to accompany her quirky new sounds and idiosyncratic aesthetic.