Lifestyle & Culture

Welcome to the Madhouse by Tones and I – Album Review

Don’t know what to expect from Tones and I’s new album ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’? Charlotte Lloyd is here to give you the rundown of what she thought about the much-anticipated debut album. 

Opposing a lot of people’s views, the recent Tones and I album has me more than excited. Her very popular albiet overplayed hit single ‘Dance Monkey’ made many people might roll their eyes or quickly change the song whenever they would hear it. But every single since I have loved. So when she released her first studio album ‘Welcome to the Madhouse,’ I hit replay on the whole album instantly. While this album received mixed reviews, I thought I’d also give my opinion on this controversial album release.  

Despite the flashbacks I get to P!nk’s ‘Funhouse’ album, the ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’ itself is far from that. The album as a whole contains much more heartfelt songs than expected, alongside upbeat bops that give the album much more variety. Drawing inspiration from some jazz riffs and percussion while also channeling some inner Billie Eilish, the album is truly itself with its personal traits, touching on her rise to fame as well as her struggles with confidence.

My initial reaction to the title song ‘Welcome to the Madhouse,’ was that I did not like it in the least. It seemed childish and annoying but like any good song, once it is played enough, it starts to become catchy and you can’t help but sing it over and over. The album also contained singles that were previously released which include ‘Cloudy Day’ and ‘Won’t Sleep’. As these two songs are very different this gives us an insight into the range that Tones is offering us in the album. While ‘Cloudy Day’ emulates the deeper songs that are on the album, ‘Won’t Sleep’ is a song that I can imagine listening to while I’m getting ready for a night out.  

Don’t get me wrong, it would be hard to ignore that the album emulates the hearty themes Tones’ discusses consistently. With ballads taking up almost half of the album, it has a tendency to reach a much deeper audience than her past singles. Despite the inclusion of a few upbeat party tracks, the album takes a backseat to her past tracks such as ‘Dance Monkey’ and ‘Never Seen the Rain’.

The end of the album takes a right-hand turn from the rest of the album, and also from any of her past music. ‘Bars’, the last track on the album, allows us to see Tones and I in a completely different light with a mix of where she began, to where she is now in a quickfire rap tune. This track is something unexpected and surprising, not only coming from Tones, but also as a choice to close the doors on her debut album altogether.  

One thing I will say overall about the album, which I have also heard from other people, is that throughout the songs Tones uses a much less harsh accent to her songs that is present in her earlier work. So if this distinct characteristic of her voice is something that causes annoyance for you, a few of her songs might actually be worth a listen.

After ‘Dance Monkey’ surpassed the position of the most-streamed song in history, the album has a lot to live up to in not only popularity but also public debate.  Even if Tones and I doesn’t hit the spot for you, I think we can all agree that the strides she makes with her music are applaudable, and I think ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’ is worth a listen nonetheless.

Key tracks to listen to: 

  1. Welcome to the Madhouse 
  2. Lonely 
  3. Westside Lobby 
  4. Just a Mess 
  5. Dark Waters 
  6. Bars 

Listen on Spotify here, or wherever you get your music!

Feature Image: ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’ Album Art sourced via Youtube for review.

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