Kim Petras saves pop music with ‘Clarity’.

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Kim Petras saves pop music with ‘Clarity’.

The cover of Kim Petras' debut studio album, 'Clarity'.

The cover of Kim Petras' debut studio album, 'Clarity'.

BunHead Records

The cover of Kim Petras' debut studio album, 'Clarity'.

BunHead Records

BunHead Records

The cover of Kim Petras' debut studio album, 'Clarity'.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

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German pop starlet Kim Petras has evolved into a prominent figure on the underground pop music scene ever since her debut in August 2017 with her hit single, “I Don’t Want It All”. The song reached #1 on the Spotify Global Viral Top 50 chart later that year, and another single, “Heart to Break”, earned her even more mainstream success in February 2018, peaking at #52 on the Billboard U.S. Dance Club Songs chart.

It was initially believed that “I Don’t Want It All”, “Heart to Break”, and the nine other singles released between August 2017 and early February would appear on her debut album, however, Petras expressed no intention of this and swiftly moved on from what she dubbed “Era 1” with the start of a new era, marked by the release of the single “Broken” in late April.

“Broken” was followed by nine more singles released every week for ten weeks in preparation for her first headlining tour, The Broken Tour, in mid-June. Petras later confirmed the final single, “Icy”, would actually be the lead single from her debut studio album, Clarity, which includes all ten of her previously released singles as well as two additional songs for a total of twelve tracks.

Clarity is a turning point in Petras’ career, as the record ditches the synth-driven, 80s-inspired sound of “Era 1”, opting for a more mainstream style that combines elements of bubblegum pop, R&B, and hip-hop. 

Her most personal work to date, Petras reveals she had been cheated on and tells her story all throughout the album. “Broken”, “All I Do Is Cry”, and “Another One” are gloomy tracks that express the pain of heartbreak; “Clarity” and “Icy” are empowering bops about moving on and growing stronger from the break-up; “Got My Number” and “Sweet Spot” see her learning to love again; Petras sets the rules for her next relationship with “Meet the Parents”; and “Blow It All” reflects on her experience, as well as life in general, qualifying it all as just one big party.

“Icy” is especially worth noting. A powerful break-up anthem, the lyrics describe being so heartbroken after the end of a relationship that your heart feels as if it’s been turned to ice. The electronic production paired with a smooth delivery from Petras makes this track one that begs to be played over and over again.

Clarity also has its fair share of sexual undertones. “Personal Hell” is a dark, seductive electro pop banger, and “Do Me” is a straight-up ode to sex, featuring some of Petras’ most raunchy lyrics yet.

The final track, “Shinin’”, is a dedication to Petras’ fans and ends the album on an uplifting note, encouraging the listener to “keep [on] shinin'”.

Kim Petras has undoubtedly earned her title as the new Princess of Pop with this album. Clarity isn’t just a pop record filled with bouncy bubblegum bops, it’s a celebration of her journey and mainstream success as a transgender artist. It’s her victory lap. 

Clarity is available now across all online and streaming platforms.

Stream Clarity on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3IcJmQcFPkitObupYRNgd7?si=xzIT02F9SIqaf9NBEhkiLg

Watch the music video for “Icy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8UNJDjygk0

BunHead Records
Petras in the music video for “Icy”.