*** (out of four)
Note: This review is not an assessment of Iggy Azalea as a "serious" artist. It is not a commentary on whether Azalea, nÈe 23-year-old Amethyst Amelia Kelly, has any right to drop rhymes in the manner of a Southern rapper when she actually hails from Australia. No, this is about that other aspect of music: fun.
Listening to Iggy Azalea is really fun. The kind of fun that makes me do duck lips and a sassy neck thing when I listen to her at my desk. Did you see the video for "Fancy"? It's Azalea and Charli XCX doing a nearly perfect re-creation of "Clueless"! This is some fun shiz!
The MC does attempt to inflate her "hardships" to legit rapper status on tracks like "Work," lamenting, "I'm tryna let you know what the [bleep] I've been through" before detailing her school uniform and working three jobs to earn her plane ticket to Miami. But don't roll your eyes too hard! We're having fun here!
Guests like T.I. and Rita Ora know that this is the kind of fun that sells. The former's appearance on "Change Your Life" also leads to what may be the album's most ridiculous verse, as Azalea quips, "We spend our winters in the summer of Australia/Eating crumpets with the sailors." When has the word "crumpet" ever appeared in a rap song?! This is hilarious!
Of course, some of these songs are all kinds of terrible. On "Lady Patra," an ode to the Jamaican dancehall singer, Azalea forcibly melds steel drums with her applied Southern accent in a way that's 99 percent grating, 1 percent likely to make a warthog pass out. (This may sound like a positive; it's not.) Factor in Jamaican singer Mavado's heavily (and I mean, HEAVILY) Auto-Tuned vocals and you've got yourself a lukewarm potato salad at a Fourth of July picnic. But hey! That's why the "skip" button was created.
I'm not taking Iggy Azalea too seriously, guys, and neither should you. After all, the artist formerly known as Ke$ha built an entire empire on neon lipstick and Jack Daniels mouthwash, and we don't expect her to be the Joan Baez of our generation. Would I listen to "The New Classic" again and enjoy myself? Hell yes.
IN CONCERT: 7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues. $27.50.