The bunheads have been waiting for Kim Petras‘ first album since 2017 and it’s finally here! After only releasing songs one at a time, Clarity is Petras’ first full body of work. Clarity is a journey of Petras’ life after going through a terrible breakup, expressing a full spectrum of emotions. Beginning with the title track “Clarity” and ending with “Shinin’,” Kim takes listeners through the stages of finding yourself after losing your happiness, with many “woo-ah”s along the way.
Starting the album with “Clarity” is an interesting decision, considering Petras felt anything but confident at the beginning of the writing process. That said, having such a clear-headed and self-assured track to establish the tone of the album works perfectly. It reminds listeners during the sad tracks that present-day Petras has overcome those feelings.
The singer describes the second track, “Icy,” as her Britney Spears “Stronger” moment. It portrays the feeling of overcoming heartbreak with resilience. The “Clarity” singer describers her ice-cold heart and how money can replace the love she lost. Although the song is a strong anthem that empowers listeners, it also represents the phase of heartbreak when emotions are repressed.
After any breakup for a self-proclaimed party girl like Petras, there’s a natural phase of partying, in order to forget heartbreak. “Got My Number” and “Sweet Spot” are upbeat, pop-y club tracks that will make you forget problems and dance the night away. With partying comes one-night stands to numb the pain. Petras expresses this need within “Personal Hell,” asking for someone to save her from herself.
In the next track, “Broken,” Petras begins to feel the uncomfortable-yet-healthy emotions of heartbreak. Although she holds resentment and a desire to show her personal improvement, the singer finally admits that her ex left her utterly broken. Her vocals are passionate and drip with a feeling of defeat. The proclamation of sadness continues with the next track “All I Do Is Cry” — the most vulnerable track on Clarity. It’s full of melodramatic lyrics, such as “I feel like I’m breaking / I keep medicating,” describing the effect of the breakup on her mental and physical health.
Kim’s confidence builds again in the following track, “Do Me.” Like “Personal Hell,” the song is about sex, but this time in a more empowering way. “Do Me” is about sexual freedom: being confident enough to express your needs and expect them to be met. The self-love energy continues in “Meet The Parents,” which is an extremely fun, cheeky track where Kim lists all of the extravagant things she’d do for her lover before letting them meet her family.
“Another One” brings listeners back to a place of vulnerability, with the fear and mistrust of being cheated on (again). She rightly wants to be her lover’s only significant other but speculates she might not be. It’s a beautiful ballad that references an earlier track, “All I Do Is Cry,” showing that she hasn’t fully healed yet.
The second-to-last track, “Blow It All,” is a carefree anthem. The musician assures listeners that everything will be alright. It’s another party anthem with a carefree attitude.
The album ends with “Shinin’” ,a song for anyone who needs to feel uplifted and celebrated. Petras ends by telling listeners they’re all stars and to never give up. This seems generic, but for Kim’s fanbase it means the world. Petras is transgender and her fans are mainly comprised of members of the LGBTQ+ community. “Shinin’” is a love letter from the transgender artist, telling fans that they’re loved, celebrated and protected.
Clarity catalogues Kim Petras’ personal and vulnerable journey of heartbreak, insecurity and self-love. Being that honest and open in your first full-length album is something to be commended. Clarity proves that Petras can write a song about anything, showing listeners that every emotion’s worth singing about.
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