Syd: Broken Hearts Club review – introspection with a little help from her friends | Pop and rock


When she came to prominence as a member of the rap collective Odd Future, it was difficult to pinpoint the sonic identity of Sydney Bennett, AKA Syd amid the outsized musical personalities of fellow bandmates such as Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.

In the decade since Odd Future released their last mixtape, Bennett has been finding her sound – mainly as the lead singer of alternative R&B group the Internet – in an intimate, nocturnal register. On her second album, Broken Hearts Club, this introspection continues, with varying results.

Its finest moments come when she collaborates. There’s the Prince-esque funk of Cybah (featuring Lucky Daye) and the guitar-strumming R&B of Out Loud (featuring Kehlani). On Heartfelt Freestyle, meanwhile, she artfully flips the yearning melody of Texas trio Khruangbin’s White Gloves.

Alone, though, Bennett’s vocals fade into the background. Her breathy tone on Fast Car struggles against its thumping backing, while the solo piano of Goodbye My Love feels too exposing, pushing her into mumbling. Bennett’s voice is ultimately too thin to carry the emotive heft of her heartbreak material, and Broken Hearts Club works best when she facilitates others to take up its mantle.

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