Monday 5 July 2021

Review of ‘Planet Her’ by Doja Cat

Doja Cat’s new intergalactic sex album is enjoyably raunchy – even if it’s not as musically adventurous as I’d hoped.

Writing erotic lyrics is harder than most people give credit for. A lot of artists either make sex sound boring or they push it to extremes to the point that it sounds sleazy or childish. Los Angeles singer-rapper Doja Cat has mastered the art of seductive lyrics – this album contains some of the sexiest songs you’ll hear all year. Even eunuch monks are likely to get hot under the collar while listening to ‘Need To Know’.

Not all the songs are about sex. In fact, ‘Kiss Me More’ is strictly about kissing (although it’s still very sexual in tone). And there are songs like ‘Ain’t Shit’, which is like a modern day version of TLC’s ‘Scrubs’ dedicated to all deadbeat boyfriends out there. However, the album is mostly songs about humping.

Personally, I found the lyrics to be fun, but was hoping the record would be slightly wackier. This is after all the same artist who dropped a song called ‘Mooo!’ in 2018, in which she sung about being a cow with French fries up her nostrils. She showed the potential to be a pretty eccentric and daring pop artist – even recently performing a metal cover of her disco hit ‘Say So’. However, Planet Her settles for a very straightforward commercial R&B sound. The tracks are pretty much all midtempo R&B songs with trap-laced production. Afropop-flavoured banger ‘Woman’ and summery snog-anthem ‘Kiss Me More’ are the most lively and musically-ambitious tracks here and they bookend the album, creating a lull in the middle.

Doja’s delivery is playful enough that it’s sometimes able to make up for the generic mid-pace beats as is the case with her squeaky inflection on ‘Payday’ and breathy vulnerable singing on ‘Alone’. In fact, she makes guests like The Weeknd and Ariana Grande seem pretty one-dimensional in comparison. However, there are no stylistic curveballs or ventures into unusual subject matter – no metal tracks or songs about being a cow. She doesn’t even embrace the space theme (it’s reserved purely for the visuals). Like, come on Doja, at least throw in a few laser beam sound effects and spaceship references.