The world of pop has never been one to shy away from sexuality — from leather to lace to everything in between. It’s a world of luxurious lights, overdrawn nights, and fluctuating feelings — where “love comes and goes, but fame is forever.” Slayyyter lives and breathes this mantra between puffs of cigarettes, emulating the allure of Hollywood and all its underworkings in her most recent album “STARFUCKER.”
Since 2018, Slayyyter has been quick to achieve a liking from a quickly growing digital fanbase. With inspirations from pop icons such as Britney Spears, Madonna, and Janet Jackson, her music slid nicely into the uprising of electro and hyperpop of the late 2010s, formulating an aesthetic of hot pink, holographic shine, and Y2K nostalgia. Her earlier music — both in her self-titled mixtape and 2021 studio album “Troubled Paradise” — pull from this same vein of synth pop sound, a testament to her nativity in the digital realm during the reign of stars like Charli XCX and Ayesha Erotica.
Yet, after a breadcrumb trail of tweets and teasers leading up to the release of her sophomore album, Slayyyter revealed the new target of her upcoming work: the glitz and glamor of old Hollywood. Her leading singles from the album dive quickly into this California state of mind, spinning tales of sex and nightlife through intimate production and driving 80s synths.
Tracks like “Purrr” and “Erotic Electronic” pull the listener into the hypnotic realm of nightclub haze, pairing dripping bass with Slayyyter’s sensual lyrics and vocals. In addition, this growth from the heavily autotuned vocal effects and occasionally hollow pop production seen in her previous releases is refreshing, and bring a smoothness to her work that we haven’t fully seen before.
“STARFUCKER” reveals a new boldness to Slayyyter that was previously drowned out by more campy aesthetics and lyricism of past albums — allowing her to relish in Hollywood fame while recognizing its pitfalls — aptly described as “glitter, smoke, and rock and roll” on the album’s anthemic first track “I Love Hollywood!” Slayyyter struts naked down the Walk of Fame, chants about “looking heroin chic” in full-body latex, and brings back her woozy bass production and spoken word style in “Plastic” to share her “brand new tits” and “little injections” with the world.
Slayyyter fits herself cleanly into this new character — a “Belladonna electrona” and dominatrix of the digital age. It’s an archetype we’ve watched rise and fall time and time again, but Slayyyter doesn’t show any sign of stopping soon. She’s confident and conscious and it clearly shows, coming into full fruition through album highlights “Miss Belladonna” and “Out of Time” — 80s inspired ballads that spin her reinvention as an sex icon and vocal primadonna. She’s straightforward to proclaim what makes her tick (“K, Coke, Money, Molly,” as stated in the electronica driven “Purr”), and it works in her favor, adding to her sickly sweet depiction of the Hollywood world.
Yet, Slayyyter also begins to show a more vulnerable side through “STARFUCKER,” using tracks like “Rhinestone Heart” and “Tear Me Open” to shine light on the two-sided knife of star-studded heartbreak. Her sadness is glamorous — full of “glitter that [she] cries like falling stars” and soft melodies in slow motion — but reflects the often cunning and shallow nature of Los Angeles lovers.
However, Slayyyter also shows musical vulnerability with many of the tracks nearly feeling like a “rinse and repeat” of previously used sonic structures. With the common repetition of spoken verses and close to uncanny bass rhythms, the album’s freshness comes close to a loss — her work comparable to former mixtape hits like “Daddy AF” and “Touch My Body.” Yet, with Slayyyter’s new focus on the Hollywood light and more nostalgic inspirations, the tracks harbor enough uniqueness to differentiate from both each other and her earlier work — even if it’s a close call.
With new style, new money, and new tits, “STARFUCKER” marks the dawning of an age for Slayyyter. Most of the tracks fall short of breathtaking, but amplify her potential and display a sense of emotional depth less seen in her earlier work. Before stopping the clock at 35 minutes and running “Out of Time,” the album works to highlight both her newfound musical strengths and rising supernova status. And, with fame eternal in the eyes of Hollywood, only time can tell where Slayyyter will go next.