M3LL155X

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M3LL155X
FKA twigs - M3LL155X.png
EP by FKA Twigs
Released 13 August 2015 (2015-08-13)
Recorded 2014
Length 18:44
Label Young Turks
Producer
FKA Twigs chronology
LP1
(2014)LP12014
M3LL155X
(2015)
Singles from M3LL155X
  1. "In Time"
    Released: 31 August 2015

M3LL155X (pronounced "Melissa") is the third extended play (EP) by English singer and songwriter FKA Twigs, released on 13 August 2015 by Young Turks.[1] The EP was lauded by music critics after its release and peaked at number 63 on the Billboard 200 becoming her second entry on the chart.

Background[edit]

In November 2014, producer Boots, whose work includes producing music on Beyoncé's 2013 eponymous album, announced he was working on Twigs' third extended play.[2]

M3LL155X was completed by November 2014, and she was waiting for the end of her LP1 tour before releasing any material.[3] She had also been working on a music video for every song, which delayed the release.[4]

When Twigs was 18, she began working with local London producers to try to find "her sound". Around the time is when she wrote "I'm Your Doll". She ended up producing a lot of what she calls "really bad demos." In an interview with Complex, Twigs admitted that she had a self-hatred while writing her debut studio album LP1, which she considers "quite normal" for a young person.[4]

Before M3LL155X had a title, fans and reporters referred to the extended play as EP3, as a continuation of the pattern started by EP1 and EP2. In June 2015, she announced the name of the EP to be Melissa. "Melissa" is the name of Twigs's personal female energy. She explains that Melissa is not an alter ego, and clarifies that her female energy never had a name until the EP was being finalised. She named the extended play M3LL155X as a way of separating it from herself.[5] It was this energy that made her want to appear pregnant in the "Glass & Patron" music video and the videos that follow.[6]

Release and promotion[edit]

The music video for "Glass & Patron", directed by Twigs herself, debuted on 23 March 2015 as part of the 2015 YouTube Music Awards.[7] The song "Figure 8" premiered on Zane Lowe's radio show Beats 1 on 3 August 2015.[3] The song "In Time" premiered on Annie Mac's radio show on BBC Radio 1 as well as on Sirius XMU an hour before the extended play's release. On 31 August 2015, "In Time" impacted contemporary hit radio in the United Kingdom as the lead single from the EP.[8]

The extended play was released on 13 August 2015 as a digital download. Twigs unveiled the album artwork on her Instagram account. It was shot and edited by artist Matthew Stone.[9]

M3LL155X short film[edit]

A short film was released simultaneously to the EP's release. The self-directed 16-minute video features four of the songs: "Figure 8", "I'm Your Doll", "In Time" and the previously released video for "Glass & Patron".[9]

The video begins with the song "Figure 8", and features a cameo of fashion icon Michèle Lamy dressed as an anglerfish. Her hands and arms are entirely ornamented in jewellery. Near the end of the song, Lamy inserts the esca into her mouth. She opens her mouth to reveal a luminescent ball floating from her mouth. The song "I'm Your Doll" begins with a CGI animation of a nude woman inflating created by digital artist Jihoon Yoo. The video then cuts to a scene of Twigs posing with the body of a blow-up doll lying in a bed. A man lusts over her and proceeds to have coitus with her plastic body. The doll body is deflated after he impregnated her.[10][11] The song "In Time" begins and shows a pregnant Twigs, as well as a normal Twigs dancing for a man in a jewel (the man was previously featured in her video for "Papi Pacify" from EP2). As the song ends, Twigs's water breaks, and pastel paint drips down her legs and forms a puddle around her feet. A white van with pink and blue hand prints flashes on the screen as the music video for "Glass & Patron" begins. A sample of "Mothercreep" begins as Twigs prepares to give birth to dancers and coloured mesh. The scene cuts to a vogue battle on a runway as "Glass & Patron" plays. Twigs begins as a judge of the battle, but then participates near the end.

Billboard described the video as "jaw-dropping" and a "video statement".[12] Rolling Stone compared the music video to the work of director David Lynch.[13] The music video also received two nominations from 2016 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Choreography.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic89/100[15]
Review scores
SourceRating
Billboard4/5 stars[16]
Consequence of SoundB[17]
Drowned in Sound9/10[18]
The Independent5/5 stars[19]
Now Magazine4/5 stars[20]
Pitchfork8.6/10[21]
PopMatters8/10 stars[22]
Spin8/10[23]

M3LL155X received widespread acclaim from contemporary music critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 89, based on 12 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[15] Kris Ex from Billboard described the extended play as "spacious, paranoid, and sultry," but stated that the songs lacked hooks. Ex commented that even though the EP makes a statement, it also leaves unanswered questions.[16] Adam Kivel from Consequence of Sound compares the EP to the uncanny valley, stating that the music is similar to R&B and pop, but it still pulls the listener out of their comfort zone.[17] Andy Gill from The Independent stated that the music is more focused and coherent than LP1. Gill also commented that Twigs's art is so unique, she's "staring stardom in the face."[19] Anupa Mistry from Pitchfork stated that M3LL155X builds on Twigs's previous work, and her voice "prowls" over the music, compared to her previously soft voice.[21] Mistry also declares Twigs to be the feminist pop star that we need. Harley Brown from Spin stated that Twigs seems to be "growing stronger," and described the sound of the extended play as "futuristic" and "nostalgic."[23]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and produced by FKA Twigs and Boots, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Figure 8"  3:03
2."I'm Your Doll"
 3:11
3."In Time"
  • FKA Twigs
  • Tic
4:35
4."Glass & Patron"  4:19
5."Mothercreep"  3:36
Total length:18:44

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of M3LL155X.[24]

  • FKA Twigs - vocals, production, vocal arrangements, drums, programming, keyboards, synthesizer (all tracks)
  • Jordan "BOOTS" Asher - production, vocal arrangements, percussion, drums, programming, keyboards, synthesizer (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5)
  • Tic - production (tracks 3)
  • Cy An - additional keyboards, drums, vocals, programming, edits (track 2)
  • John Davis - mastering (all tracks)
  • Happa - additional programming (track 3)
  • Marco Pasquariello - additional engineering (track 3)
  • Mark "Spike" Stent - mixing (track 3)
  • Matthew Stone - photography
  • Geoff Swan - additional mixing (track 3)
  • David Wrench - mixing (tracks 2,4); vocal mixing (track 3)
  • Stuart Write - mixing (tracks 1,5)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[25] 193
France (SNEP)[26] 184
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 30
US Billboard 200[28] 63
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[29] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[30] 5

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Worldwide 13 August 2015 Digital download Young Turks [31]
4 December 2015 LP [32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FKA twigs surprise release M3LL155X EP with four videos". Fact. The Vinyl Factory. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Pareles, Jon (14 February 2015). "After His Coup With Beyoncé, Boots Strides Out of the Shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Kreps, Daniel (4 August 2015). "Hear FKA Twigs' Sparse, Melodic New Song, 'Figure 8'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Pasori, CEDAR (June–July 2015). "FKA twigs Interview (2015 Cover Story)". Complex. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "FKA twigs announces the name of EP3". Dazed. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Jones, Daisy (9 June 2015). "Six things we know about FKA twigs' Melissa EP". Dazed. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (23 March 2015). "FKA twigs Gives Birth to a Vogue Battle in the "Glass & Patron" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Playlist". BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on 1 September 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Torres, Eric (13 August 2015). "FKA twigs Releases New EP M3LL155X". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Fka Twigs Releases Surprise Album With Short Film". Contactmusic.com. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Bradley, Laura (13 August 2015). "FKA Twigs Just Dropped a New EP—and a Bizarrely Poetic 16-Minute Video". Slate. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Payne, Chris (13 August 2015). "FKA Twigs Drops Surprise EP: Details & Her Must-Watch New Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Reed, Ryan (13 August 2015). "Watch FKA Twigs' Lynchian Short Film for New EP". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Beyonce, Adele Lead Nominees for 2016 MTV Video Music Awards". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for M3L155X". CBS Interactive. Metacritic. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Billboard
  17. ^ a b Kivel, Consequence of Sound. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  18. ^ Adcock, Lee (24 August 2015). "EP Review: FKA Twigs - M3LL155X". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  19. ^ a b The Independent
  20. ^ Edwards, Samantha (26 August 2015). "FKA Twigs - M3LL155X". Now Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  21. ^ a b Mistry, Anupa. Pitchfork Media. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  22. ^ Rollman, Hans (27 August 2015). "FKA twigs: M3LL155X". PopMatters. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Spin
  24. ^ M3LL155X (CD liner notes). FKA Twigs. Young Turks. 2015. YTLP142. 
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – FKA twigs – M3LL155X" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – FKA twigs – {{{song}}}" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  27. ^ "Charts.org.nz – FKA twigs – M3LL155X". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  28. ^ "FKA twigs Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  29. ^ "FKA twigs Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  30. ^ "FKA twigs Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  31. ^ Morris, Jessie (13 August 2015). "Stream FKA Twigs' New EP 'M3LL155X' And a New 16 Minute Video, Too". Complex. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  32. ^ "M3LL155X". Rough Trade. Retrieved 1 December 2015.