Hiding dark lyrics under pretty pop songs is one of the oldest tricks in the book, however on Princess One Point Five’s (or P 1.5 for those of you who like to abbreviate) latest album What Doesn’t Kill You they do it with such style that they truly make it there own.
A collaboration between Sarah-Jane Wentzki and Richard Andrew (Underground Lovers), the duo have created an album that strikes the perfect balance between beautiful and bitter. Despite being a joint effort, there is no doubt that Wentzki is the star of the show, with her gorgeous vocals and quirky personality stamped all over this album. While it could all seem like overkill, the addition of instrumental tracks Start and Interlude add a great amount of space to the album and allow Richard Andrew’s talents to really shine through.
It’s impossible to talk about this album without mentioning the Triple J approved single Today. Featuring delicate guitar and the memorable chorus of ‘What the hell is with today, today,’ the breezy track showcases P 1.5 at their bittersweet best. Following in a similar vein is the heartbreakingly beautiful You’re Not Ready, which is one of the least cheerful tracks on the album, but also one of most brilliant. I Dare You sounds like it could be a Sarah Blasko song. Beginning with just piano and vocals, it springs to life when the band kicks in, adding a perfect amount of depth.
The piano-heavy Your Wedding Day is the perfect soundtrack to a massive disappointment. You can almost picture Sarah-Jane Wentzki sitting glumly in a party dress crying into a bottle of gin. Luckily the Blondie influenced Quote Me manages to lift the mood with more of an upbeat pop sound. It’s no doubt the catchiest track on the album and will have you singing along involuntarily. The album begins to lose steam towards the last few tracks. Fly My Pretties is dark and atmospheric and shows how versatile the band can be, however it never really goes anywhere and is lacking any kind of build-up. The short ballad All That You Thought only clocks in at two and half minutes, with most of that being instrumental. While it’s certainly pretty, it sounds underdeveloped when compared to the previous songs. The captivating final track All You Are redeems all this by layering all P 1.5’s different elements together to create the perfect package.
Princess One Point Five have created an album that is equally dark, cheerful and most importantly, beautiful. If you’ve ever enjoyed a depressing break-up song or secretly sung along to The Veronicas in the car, then there is no doubt that this is the album for you.