Album Review: "Planet Her" by Doja Cat
Doja Cat did it again. She released another incredible album and I’m absolutely in love with it.
The 14 track album, Planet Her, features the recently released singles “Kiss Me More” and “Need To Know” as well as 12 other album exclusives.
Planet Her begins with the song “Woman”. It has a really high energy, carribean style dance beat who’s distorted chorus is very reminiscent of “Work” by Rihanna. The lyrics discuss the power that women hold and the way that they entice those around them and constantly dominate their way to success.
Track 2, “Naked”, follows a similar theme to “Woman” with its intense dance beat and simple, quick lyrics. The title really says it all when it comes to the theme of the lyrics and is quite flirtatious and relatively explicit but it’s very fun to listen to.
Track 3, “Payday” ft. Young Thug, really lets out the hidden affinity for soundcloud rapping in all of us. The autotuned sounding chorus that is very quick and almost rushed as well as the Young Thug feature really gives that over-edited feel to the song. I like it because it’s Doja Cat but I don’t think I could tolerate it otherwise.
Track 4, “Get Into It (Yuh)”, has the exact same feel as “Payday” but it seems much more purposefully comical so it’s a lot better. It is also only 2 minutes long and it includes the line “If you go to church, get into it yuh” as well as a few other wild lines. Overall, pretty good.
“Need To Know” is the 5th track and also the debut song for the album. “Need To Know” pulls us out of the dance beat styles of the previous songs and transitions us back into the regular style of seductive lyrics and heavy bass that leads the rhythm of the song that accompanies Doja Cat’s vocals. This song’s style does a really good job at capturing the theme of the album with its galactic vibe composed of drawn out, autotuned lyrics, and almost shiny effect on the melody. I cannot find a way to describe it other than “shiny”.
Track 6, “I Don’t Do Drugs” ft. Ariana Grande, has a tropical tone to it because of the chime-like beat in the background of the song. The song is also very fast and contains a leading 808 type beat. Ariana Grande has a featuring verse that follows the theme of the song discussing how she is falling in lust for a guy she is talking to and how he is a bad idea because she knows that she could easily get addicted to him.
Track 7, “Love To Dream” slows things down to a much softer tone. This song still continues the 808 beat and heavy bass in the song but also contains a really soft and muffled guitar that creates an angelic and “dream-like” feel to the song. The lyrics discuss how the idea of a relationship is just a dream because she’s not ready for “real love” so she would rather keep this guy as a fantasy.
Track 8, “You Right” ft. The Weeknd, contains the chorus, “I got a man but I want you”, which essentially sums up the song. Doja Cat knows that even though she shouldn’t want another guy, she still does but they are both “right” by not acting on anything. The Weeknd features on the song and discusses how loyalty keeps the girl that he wants from giving in to the temptations they both hold. The tone of this song is a lot darker and definitely feeds into the seductiveness that the lyrics are projecting.
Track 9, “Been Like This”, immediately reminded me of “If I Got You” by Zayn because of the deep and shadowed vocals introducing the song. The song is slow with an intense serenity that does a really good job of encapsulating the realization that a relationship is ending which is essentially what the song is about. Doja Cat sings, “Since you've been like this/ baby, I don’t really wanna be in like this,”. She describes a changed person that has therefore caused a change in the relationship that she no longer desires.
Track 10, “Options” ft. JID, talks about how she and her partner have many options both in partners and in ways to go about several explicit acts. There is a flute playing throughout the song that sounds extremely similar to the flute in “Young Robot” by Dance Gavin Dance.
Track 11, “Ain’t S**t”, talks about how men aren’t anything to stress over because they don’t deserve to hold that much space in a woman’s mind. The song is pretty relaxed and the drawn out chorus supports the careless vibe that the song projects.
Track 12, “Imagine”, is a little faster than the previous song and talks a lot about the luxurious life that she has gained with fame and how it’s fun to imagine some of the things she has acquired with her riches. This is another bass lead song that due to its relatively short nature seems a lot more like a bonus track than a stand alone song.
Track 13, “Alone”, is my favorite song on the album. It has the darkest tone and includes a very deep voice during the chorus harmonizing and repeating “alone”. The song talks about how Doja Cat would much rather be alone than “force what’s natural” and stay in a relationship that is starting to become toxic. There is a pretty simple guitar riff that repeats throughout the song as well as a few haunting “oooo’s” that make the tone of the song seem like the idea of being alone is a threat or fear more so than a choice even though she contradicts this by asking, “ is it crazy I’m not scared to be alone?”. It seems like the most emotional song in the album but it’s not sappy so it has a really entrancing effect.
Track 14, “Kiss Me More” ft. SZA, seems very out of place in terms of the order of this album. Doja Cat conveys this story of happy, honeymoon phase hookups that then leads into the darkness of relationship breaks and differences in needs. Then she wraps it up with the conclusion that she’s not scared to be alone because she knows what she wants and can find love regardless even if it’s just from within herself. But then there is this super happy pop song tacked onto the end. I think that much like “Formation” was for Beyoncé’s Lemonade, “Kiss Me More” seems like a song that was used to tease the album but doesn’t really hold a place in the story of it. It’s a very good song obviously, it’s just out of place.
Planet Her followed Doja Cat’s style really well and incorporated haunting vibes that were interlaced with easy-to-dance to beats and songs that would be disrespected if you didn’t turn up to them. She did a really good job at maintaining that balance of rap and singing that made it a really beautiful R&B style album. If you like Doja Cat, you will love this album. If you have never listened to her, I would start with “Kiss Me More” but I think that “Alone” is definitely the song worth listening to on this album above all else.