Baby Queen – Quarter Life Crisis

Baby Queen proves she's at the peak of her powers on her debut album, Quarter Life Crisis

Album Review by Tara Hepburn | 07 Nov 2023
  • Baby Queen – Quarter Life Crisis
Album title: Quarter Life Crisis
Artist: Baby Queen
Label: Polydor Records
Release date: 10 Nov

In the two years since releasing her mixtape, The Yearbook, Baby Queen has kept busy – writing songs for Netflix’s Heartstopper soundtrack and going on the road with Olivia Rodrigo. As far as zeitgeisty pop culture goes, that's about as good as it gets.

Quarter Life Crisis represents a step forward for the pop star. Packed with irresistible hooks and confessional lyrics, you'll find her best songs to date here; it's clear that Baby Queen understands the cinema of pop music. On Dream Girl she fantasises about stealing some guy’s girlfriend, while 'kid genius' is a wry complaint about the burden of brains in the digital world. These are playful anthems to scream-sing along to. 'every time I get high' offers a kind of chemically-induced super hope, only for the album’s closer to immediately dismantle that. 'a letter to myself at 17' does what it says on the tin, a thoughtful advice ballad which is uplifting and sad in equal measure. 'Try to be happy', she urges her younger self, 'Your wildest dreams came true'.

If anything, the album perhaps suffers slightly from front-loading with massive bangers, making Quarter Life Crisis feel like a coming-of-age movie without its third act resolution. But life isn’t a movie, is it? Perhaps that’s the point.

Listen to: We Can Be Anything, Dream Girl, kid genius