Mikaela Straus, better known by her stage name King Princess, just released her debut album titled “Cheap Queen” on Friday, Oct. 25.
“Do You Wanna See Me Crying?” Join me while I listen to this pop singer’s new music and that should easily do it. The LP is full of emotions and heartfelt messages that are sure to bring a tear to your eye.
All 13 tracks on the album discuss topics like relationships, sexuality and true self-acceptance, which are similar topics included on her 2018 EP, “Make My Bed.”
Contrasting from her older music, this album is more soulful and slow, with tons of old-timey vibes. I wasn’t initially sure if I liked the new sound, but once I listened to the album on repeat, I fell in love with the soft tone and the feeling each song engulfed.
Beginning in May of this year, Straus dropped five singles anticipating the new album, first including the title track, “Cheap Queen.” The song gives us a first look at how Straus’ life has been altered since her rise to fame.
“I’m getting too cocky / Since everyone wants me / It’s harder to be myself,” she sings.
That line refers to how Straus is now judged by millions of people, so it has become a lot more difficult for her to do, say or act the way she truly wants.
Another single on the album named “Ain’t Together” talks about having a relationship with someone where you aren’t actually dating but still care about each other a lot.
“We say I love you, but we ain’t together / Do you think labels make it taste much better?” she sings in the first hook.
There can often be lingering confusion when you have what seems to be a romantic relationship with someone, but it isn’t actually official. Usually one person has more feelings than the other, which is a difficult situation that many people have gone through, including myself.
These relatable topics make the album a lot more enjoyable for anyone who listens because they can feel what the artist is going through and know they aren’t alone.
The last song released before the album, “Hit The Back,” is, as stated by King Princess herself, an anthem for all bottoms. If you aren’t familiar with LGBT lingo, a “bottom” is someone who is usually more submissive in a sexual relationship, rather than dominant. This song is all about letting the other person take control, which is easily heard in this line: “And I don’t care if you degrade me / ‘Cause after all you are my safety / And everything you touch just feels like yours to me.”
This song, along with many others, is an expression of King Princess’ sexuality. She often talks about her relationships comfortably and has been labeled a “gay icon” by fans on the internet since her first hit “1950” came out.
In the song “Homegirl,” Straus talks about how men may treat women disrespectfully when they are interested in them and how she doesn’t want to be like “them.” She wants to show a girl how being with her would be different than being with a guy.
Even though she can be confident at times, King Princess still encounters insecurity at times, as do most people.
The album’s first track, “Tough on Myself,” talks about the self-hate that many young adults face today.
“I get so tough on myself / Sitting alone, making fun of myself,” she sings.
I appreciate that Straus talks about many hard conversations like these, which many people face but are often scared to reveal.
These themes continue on in songs like “Isabel’s Moment” and “You Destroyed My Heart,” where the tempo and slow instrumentals truly show the rawness of what King Princess is sharing. However, I do kind of wish the album included more upbeat and fun songs so that everything didn’t sound super similar, but all the tracks still go together nicely.
I think that this new release truly shows the growth that King Princess has gone through since she began gaining a fan base, not only as an artist, but as a person, as well. Anyone could enjoy her music, especially with the varying sounds each of her projects display. She is truly talented.
Eastern Echo grade: B