Review: Madison Beer’s Life Support

After four long years of being teased with visuals and snippets, Madison Beer’s long awaited debut album has finally made its release. Life Support tells a beautifully story about aliens, heartbreak and fantasy that somehow miraculously works together to paint a vivid masterpiece. The album showcases Madison’s appreciation for musical styles of the past as well as showing off some of her modern inspirations. Something that Madison is passionate about, declaring it to be crucial to the album’s release, is powerful visuals. Six songs so far have videos or visuals and more there are to come. She explains they serve to authenticate her ideas and display them exactly as envisioned, however are the carefully crafted visuals enough to separate her from other artists and compensate for the long wait?

There are several unexpected components on Life Support that create one body including an homage to the past. A reminisce of when love was pure yet simple can be found on the track “Everything Happens for A Reason.” It’s a soft ballad that reflects the style of the late ’50s early ’60s that puts present day into perspective. The production surprisingly includes a talk box that transports its listeners back in time giving them the opportunity to feel as someone else.

Additionally, the use of metaphors on the album have been used to help paint extraordinary pictures like in “Stained Glass” where emotional fragility is compared to glass and in “Blue” where: “Diamonds in the cut always know how to fool me.”  The imagery enforces the concepts created and makes it easier to digest difficult topics. 

Something that is always expected of artists, but difficult to manage is witty word play. Beer has many instances where she uses wordplay to her advantage like in “Selfish,” where she sings: “All you ever wanna do is lie. Why are you always such a gemini?” which is poking fun at how Gemini’s are notorious for being two faced. In “Emotional Bruises” when she belts out: “…it’s the 3rd 2nd chance that I’ve given you for the 1st time let it be the last.” The line is satisfying, catchy and has rhythm capturing the audience with its flow. Overall the two instances are clever and get dark, but still relate to the youth by mentioning things relevant to them. The world play really makes the album.

Madison had the intention of releasing Life Support a lot sooner though blamed circumstance and the pandemic for its delay. This obstacle interfered with the storyline causing certain songs to be kicked off the album. “Dear Society” was supposed to be the leading single off the album, but in actuality just served as the blueprint for the final product. The track had the intention of addressing how people’s expectations can harm one’s mental health. In the music video Madison is strapped to a bed and is being tested in an apocalyptic lab. They inject her with eerie fluids and closely monitor her every move. This scene symbolizes how the world’s influences can put people in uncomfortable and challenging situations, sometimes impossible to escape, where others are always watching and judging. This was something important Madison wanted to convey and it’s unfortunate it didn’t make the cut.   

Since then, Madison has been entangled in a few controversial incidents however the things she’s learned from them helped create Life Support. It is an extraordinary collection of stories, advice and life lessons worth giving a listen. 

— by Emily Pacheco ’21