Lolo Zouaï's latest album, "Crying in the Carwash," comes in the wake of her departure from her label, with songs like "Encore," "How to Love," "Ice Cube," "Lava Lamp," and the title track, which have quickly become regulars on our replay queue for their emotional honesty and narrative allure.
must extend our sincerest apologies for the tardiness of this review. Yet, in full disclosure, our delay can be wholly attributed to the engrossing experience of having Lolo Zouaï's "Crying in the Carwash" on an endless loop. Such is the captivating nature of this album, with the intoxicating pull of "Encore" demanding dozens of listens on its own—it’s a work that simply insists, quite convincingly, on constant replay.
It’s in "Crying in the Carwash" that we’re first immersed in Zouaï’s haunting narratives—caught in an evocative downpour that washes over us track by track. The titular song frames the record—an emblematic portrait of her vulnerability and desires for an emotional deluge in a place devoid of natural rain. Zouaï delivers the lyric "Crying in the carwash / Tryna feel something," amidst a bedrock of atmospheric synths and pulsating beats. The irony is palpable, the imagery arresting—a clever play on the act of crying where no one can see you, mixed with the yearning for real connections amidst the superficial gleam of Hollywood.
"How to Love" progresses with Zouaï earnestly querying the mechanics of affection—a rhythmic exploration of longing and the fervent search for an emotional compass. The raw dispatch, "Gimme, gimme, gimme space 'cause I deserve it / Don't let all this go to waste, I think we're worth it," lays bare the struggle of her relationship, embodying both a plea for understanding and a declaration of her own value.
The crystalline "Ice Cube" then paints a portrait of an awakening heart from its frosted slumber, the music swelling with the kind of anticipatory emotion that attends love's gradual reveal. The lines, “You unfroze my heart / Thought that I could never love / Ice cube melts and here we are,” capture an intimacy that unfolds with cinematic poise—a delicate, heartrending allegory for personal growth and the rediscovery of capacity for love.
The sultry "Lava Lamp," with its hypnotic rhythms, delves into darker desires and a longing for the fervency of untamed passions. Zouaï’s voice, both smoky and smooth, encapsulates the lyrical confessions of a soul tethered to the yearning for more than gentle care—“I want you to love like you hate me / And fuck me so crazy, crazy,” she entreats, outlining a craving for a more tempestuous connection that the steadiness of her current flame fails to satisfy.
But it’s with "Encore" that Zouaï showcases her storytelling prowess, weaving a seductive narrative as she duets with the devil, perhaps a metaphor for the music industry's give-and-take. The devil whispers sweet promises of eternal prominence. "Give me everything I want and more," the devil intones, reinforcing the cost that comes with the opulent temptation of endless fame. Her reply, "Oui, bon appétit," is a crafty acquiescence, fluent in the double entendres of the language of the industry—a nod to the commodification of art and self in the pursuit of success.
Through it all, Zouaï's musical canvas is painted with rich minimalism, her Franco-Algerian heritage, and undertones of R&B, crafting a sound that envelops the listener in its emotional thrum. Her vocal articulations dance with precision—each declaration, each whispered confession resonating warmly in the acute, lived-in quality of the music.
"Crying in the Carwash" is an astonishing display of both vulnerability and sheer ingenuity, unequivocally positioning Lolo Zouaï an artist of great capability. Each track, each verse, and chorus is a composite of her mind bared, leaving us spellbound. Her ability to marry poignancy with pop is nothing short of mesmerizing. Lolo Zouaï is, without a shadow of a doubt, a paragon of artistic brilliance, and "Crying in the Carwash" an offering that commands obsession, appreciation, and audition.
Lolo Zouaï, 'Crying in the Carwash' EP Track List:
1. Crying in the Carwash
2. How to Love
3. Ice Cube
4. Lava Lamp
Lolo Zouaï, 'Crying in the Carwash' Spotify:
Lolo Zouaï, 'Crying in the Carwash' Full EP Stream:
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