Entertainment Music

All Hail the New Queen of Pop: Chappell Roan

The 25-year-old Willard, Missouri, native Kayleigh Rose Amstutz, better known as Chappell Roan, has taken over the pop genre following the release of her debut album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.” Released on Sep. 22, 2023, under Amusement Records, Roan has since been everyone’s recent obsession.

“The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess” is a pop album like you have never heard before. Yes, Roan sings from the perspective of a 20-something-year-old experiencing love, life, and heartbreak, a topic seen in countless other albums of its kind, but Roan brings her own flare to the genre. She gives a new perspective on universal experiences through her truthful and exquisite lyricism, making sure not to leave out any of the more suggestive details.

Prior to the release of this debut album, three released singles have been circulating on TikTok, drawing in tons of fans long before the release of the album. The singles “Casual,” “HOT TO GO!,” and “Red Wine Supernova” have all seen TikTok and streaming success. Now, Roan has her own album, produced by the acclaimed Daniel Nigro, and upcoming stage appearances on her “Pink Pony Club” tour and opening sets during Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts Tour.”

“The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess” starts off with the track “Femininomenon,” one that puts the listeners immediately into the Roan universe. A song unlike many others, Roan introduces listeners to her perfectly crafted lyricism, as well as her playful pop instrumentals. In this track, Roan explores the phenomenon women experience in relationships with men, explaining that happiness does not always come out of one even though they are what women change their lives for. This song is definitely an acquired taste to many, but if it hooks you right off the bat, then this will be the album for you.

The following track “Red Wine Supernova” has no other words to describe it besides a perfect pop song. With flirtatious, catchy lyrics, Roan gives a nod to the modern romance while creating one of the best bridges in the game right now. “Red Wine Supernova” has already seen huge success last year as it was ranked 18 on “Rolling Stones’” “Best Songs of 2023” list.

The vibe of the album shifts with the fourth track, “Coffee.” In the first slowed-down song on the album, Roan sings over a gentle piano about how she doesn’t want to make the same mistakes with an ex. She sings, “I’ll meet you for coffee ‘cause if we have wine, you’ll say that you want me; I know that’s a lie.” Roan puts into words a universal experience of being tempted to go back to what we know, even though we know it is not good for us. Roan admits her faults with this situation and sings with complete vulnerability.

The next song “Casual” is anything but. This track is about the word no one wants to experience: situationship. The daunting experience between two people can be perfectly summed up in this crass track. Roan is holding nothing back, exposing the truths within a situationship while simultaneously exposing the love interest for seeing the relationship as anything but.

The ninth track “Picture You” creates a sensual vibe while explaining a one-sided perspective on a relationship. Roan ponders about her love interest, wondering if “you picture me like I picture you, am I in the frame from your point of view?” The instrumentals create a gentle atmosphere that pairs well with this adolescent sexuality.

“Pink Pony Club” perfectly summarizes the atmosphere Roan creates around her music. Roan is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and even allows local drag queens to open up for every one of her shows. In “Pink Pony Club,” she sings about a welcoming environment where people can be who they want to be without having to feel judged. A track that summarizes the whole album, it should have been placed lower on the album’s order as it encapsulates acceptance and self-pride, something Roan has been singing about throughout the whole album.

The actual last track of the album, “Guilty Pleasure,” concludes the album on a fun, lighthearted sexual note congruent with the rest of the work.

Compared to other pop records, Roan’s stands out as one that focuses on its lyricism over its instruments. Roan admitted in an interview with PopBuzz that this album was made to be performed live, not simply listened to as a studio album. This is especially an interesting statement since the studio aspects of this album are so impressive.

This album truly contains no skips. It contains a track for every experience one has while growing up in the current generation. Chappell Roan is not going anywhere anytime soon, so I suggest you check out this album now before Roan’s unavoidable takeover of the world of pop.