Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman

Working Class Woman is an incredibly cohesive art-house album and if it doesn’t punch through the roof of clubs everywhere at least Marie Davidson will be sorted as a kick-ass life coach

Album Review by Briony Pickford | 01 Oct 2018
  • Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman
Album title: Working Class Woman
Artist: Marie Davidson
Label: Ninja Tune
Release date: 5 Oct

Marie Davidson is punching realism through the doors of the Berghain with her latest album Working Class Woman. She has used her skill as one of the successful practitioners of spoken-word electronica to create a darkly humourous and ironic collection of songs. Following Adieux au Dancefloor, a perfect marriage of electronic bangers with a questioning voiceover to the whole process of clubbing, this latest release provides further commentary. The entire album is a mix of successful, feminist personas commenting over relentless drums and chaotic synths.

The album comments on a variety of topics. For instance, Davidson incorporates elements of Adieux au Dancefloor on So Right which pumps out club-happy beats while her flat vocal tone mocks those euphoric rollercoaster feelings. The Psychologist persona is taken on by a male voice in what is a commentary on the (hopefully dying) sexist phenomena of men calling emotional women crazy. Later, The Tunnel has a go at the general difficulty of life with a rather unsympathetic mantra of 'We all have to deal with it.' Here, Davidson creates an effective horror movie soundtrack with crunching glass sound effects and a psychopathic voiceover which illuminates the horrific aspects of mental health issues that can be a side effect of tunnel vision in life.

Album standout Work It features an off-kilter percussive set-up to accompany Davidson's commentary – 'You wanna know how I get away with everything? / I work / All the fucking time' – and honest necessity: 'Work to be a winner.' However, this album has much more than just a spoken-word commentary on work ethic and sexism. Many of its songs have very minimal or no vocals at all. Be prepared for Workaholic Paranoid Bitch, especially if you’re listening through headphones, as it attempts to rattle the wax from your ears.

Finally, the most interesting facet of this album is Davidson's ability to use all of those aggressive spoken-word commentaries and electronic effects in one song and then totally chill-out in the next. Lara, La chambre intérieure and Day Dreaming have an element of Four Tet to them with a use of chime-like synths, a more laid-back improvised style and very gradual crescendos and diminuendos. Altogether, Working Class Woman is an incredibly cohesive art-house album with a perfect combination of electronic music and spoken word, and if it doesn’t punch through the roof of clubs everywhere at least Davidson will be sorted as a kick-ass life coach.

Listen to: Work It, La chambre intérieure, Day Dreaming