To quote the title of a well-known Monty Python flick, “And now for something completely different.” From Glasgow-based drag artist Anna Secret Poet comes eclectic debut album No Brainer, an album that really runs the gamut of musical genres.
No Brainer welcomes the listener in with the familiar – and by now probably sorely missed – sound of chattering crowds, recalling the feel of any Glasgow bar on a Friday night. From there, the relatably named opener Overthinker Anthem shifts into a lilting guitar melody, which in turn kicks up a notch to a punchy, punky riff. Other catchy titles in No Brainer include Where Does the Other Sock Go?, fearlessly asking the big, philosophical questions, and Shooby Don’t, which gets points for sheer pun-tasticness alone.
Throughout the entire album, Anna Secret Poet pairs fine guitar work with clever poetry. A great example of this is the metaphor-packed B-Movie. Similarly, the lyrics and fast pace of Overthinker Anthem combine in such a way as to bring about a vivid sense of a rather punky panic attack.
The only thing that perhaps runs a little wide of the mark with No Brainer is the vast range of genres coming together in twelve short tracks. Sure, the range provides ample scope of Anna Secret Poet’s sharp lyrical wits and musical talent. That said, the jumps from punk to techno to blues-rock to indie ballad styles creates a sense of chaos that makes it hard for any particular tracks to really stand out. In that respect, No Brainer may feel like a bit of an acquired taste for some.
That, of course, isn’t to say that the album doesn’t have its merits; there are plenty of catchy beats to be found within No Brainer, and the humour that permeates tracks like Goth Girls and B-Movie are a welcome change of tone in the current climate.
Is No Brainer the kind of album that could please everyone? Probably not as a whole, but with so many musical styles on offer, there’s likely to be at least one track for every taste out there. In any case, there’s no harm in enjoying something completely different every now and again.