Alicia G is very much an independent artist, and she brings a lot of uncaged energy with her into the studio in “Boom Boom Baby (Country Slide),” her all-new single and recently-minted music video. “Boom Boom Baby (Country Slide)” starts with a potency, playing at a lumbering pace, slowly blossoming into an anthemic pop jam led by an eager vocal from Alicia. The lyrics wisp between the hard edges of instrumentation seamlessly, but their message isn’t lost on us amid all the melodic might being throttled in our direction. Some pop songs ask a lot from listeners in exchange for a stock beat and halfhearted harmonies, but that really can’t be said of “Boom Boom Baby (Country Slide).”
In previous singles, Alicia G’s style of attack was a bit more conservative than it is in this track, but none of her aching lust feels forced or disingenuous at all. From the get-go, it’s abundantly clear that she’s invested in these words and that she’s conveying them in her own articulate fashion rather than recycling something familiar from one of her influences. In the chorus, I forgot that I was listening to an underground player completely – her crooning is so mature and swaggering that it’s hard to believe that she hasn’t made it onto the mainstream charts yet.
The lyrics here are swinging from branches, which is a nice change of pace from the self-centered predictability that has plagued pop for the last ten years and driven away a good chunk of its once-most loyal fans.
Alicia reminds me a lot of the bubblegum pop stewards who briefly rose to prominence in the late ‘90s but whose scene quickly eroded under commercial pressures from major labels. I sincerely hope that she stays true to the indie pop model and shapes her creativity around her ideals, because if she does, we might get to hear what that ‘90s scene could have evolved into, were it given the same critical time to develop.
As far as music videos go, “Boom Boom Baby (Country Slide)” is one of the more freewheeling cuts that I’ve seen this year, and sports a surprisingly strong sequence of visuals. I’m not usually one to say this, but I think that this is a rare instance of a video giving a second storyline to an already in-depth song. If nothing else, it adds an aesthetical edge to the music that only enhances the skillset of its central star for the better.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more concrete pop single than “Boom Boom Baby (Country Slide)” this summer, and I say that knowing that 2023 is slated to see some monumental releases from artists around the planet. When taking into account her discography, there’s no disputing that Alicia G is a visionary with a lot of impending options situated in front of her, but I don’t think she should be rushed professionally. She has all the time in the world to decide who and what she wants to be, and for now, she’s producing some of the strongest pop music I’ve heard in a long time.