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The Flor-Ala

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Chappell Roan releases debut album, ‘The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess’


Chappell Roan broke out onto the scene with the release of her debut album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess,” on Sept. 22. Adored by the community, Roan has already made huge strides in contributing to queer pop culture. Though I do not tend to be a fan of pop in general, this album gripped my heart. 

Having grown up in a non-accepting Christian community in Missouri, Chappell broke away to live in Los Angeles where she could live unapologetically as a queer woman. She began her music career, creating her stage name to honor her late grandfather. She chose the name ‘Chappell’ since it was her grandfather’s last name, and ‘Roan’ because of his favorite old western song, “The Strawberry Roan.” 

She released a handful of singles starting in 2017, most included in the release of “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.” Her talent shone through in these singles and left her fans anticipating the release of her debut album. 

Overall, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess” is a fitting title, as it can be heard throughout with the mixture of upbeat, catchy pop songs and slower-paced ballads. 

Femininomenon- 6/10 

This catchy, fun song makes for a pretty good opener for Roan’s debut album, letting you know what you’re getting into from the very beginning in terms of what can only be described as a super slay girlboss anthem, though the best is yet to come. While I do enjoy the message of female empowerment and the upbeat nature of this song, I do find the bridge to be a little tacky. 

Red Wine Supernova- 10/10 

One of my absolute favorite songs on the album, “Red Wine Supernova” is what truly kicks off the album for me. A unique sound, this song brings pop and whispers of country together to form the perfect, flirty queer anthem. Roan demonstrates her talents in lyricism beautifully in the bridge with the iconic line “I’ve heard you like magic, I’ve got a wand and a rabbit.” 

After Midnight- 7/10 

The first song on the album that was not released prior as a single, “After Midnight” brings in yet another change in sound already with some disco-esque instrumentals. This song would fit perfectly in a roller-rink late-night with the girls. 

Coffee- 5/10 

“Coffee” slows down the pace drastically to take a breather with a ballad reflecting on the idea of meeting with an ex to reconnect, ultimately concluding with the realization it would not be a good idea, as “it’s never just coffee” and she does not want swayed to re-enter the relationship. 

Casual- 9/10 

Slowly picking back up the pace, “Casual” gives yet another queer anthem in the throes of feeling your situationship is more serious than your partner seems to think or wants to admit. Roan gives examples of the depth of her relationship with a person, asking “Is it casual now?” The hard-hitting bridge of this song provides the perfect avenue to sing along and yell out your frustrations about having attempted to make your failing situationship work.


Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl- 6/10 

This song brings back the energy with Roan slighting the “super mega bummer boys” and expressing her desire for a “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl” like herself. This catchy tune will make you want to dance and pose like a popstar, too. 

HOT TO GO!- 7/10 

The catchiest song on the album, “HOT TO GO!” was written specifically to just have a good time. Heavily cheerleading-inspired, the chorus spells out the title, and Roan even choreographed a small routine which she has posted videos from her concerts with the crowd performing with her. This song will absolutely have you feeling yourself! 

My Kink Is Karma- 9/10 

An amazingly fun song to sing to, Roan describes the bitterness of a rough breakup and the joy from seeing an awful ex experience misfortune after the mistreatment they put you through. 

Picture You- 7/10 

Slowing back down, this beautiful song showcases Roan’s gorgeous voice as she fantasizes over a love interest, wondering if they view her the same way. 

Kaleidoscope- 7/10 

Roan makes the comparison of love to a kaleidoscope, observing the mysterious and fickle nature of relationships. She addresses a partner, letting them know that no matter if their relationship remains romantic or steps down to platonic, she will be there. 

Pink Pony Club- 7/10 

Roan tells a story through this song of leaving a small town to go to Hollywood, where she finds herself within the “Pink Pony Club.” She refutes her mother’s abhorrence for her new lifestyle, saying “Oh mama I’m just having fun on the stage in my heels; it’s where I belong.” 

Naked In Manhattan- 8/10 

This fun, upbeat song paints a picture of a girl discovering and exploring her sexuality in her youth. 

California- 7/10 

“California” is a gorgeous slow song, addressing home sickness Roan’s felt since moving to California from Missouri, reminiscing on the seasons and beauty of her hometown. 

Guilty Pleasure- 7/10 

This song describes Roan’s crush as her “Guilty Pleasure.” Though both are great songs, “California” arguably would have been more fitting as a beautiful final track to close out Roan’s impactful debut album. It felt a bit odd bouncing straight back to such an upbeat pop song to finish off with, but enjoyable nonetheless. 

Overall, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is a 7/10. Chappell Roan is not only already an amazing breakout artist, but a great performer as well. If you give this album a listen and love it just as much as me, Roan is currently on tour for the album. She has a theme for every show to enrich the experience for her fans so they can dress up cohesively.

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