TV Girl is an indie pop/hip-hop group from Los Angeles. They have an extensive catalog that extends as far as 2010 with the “TV Girl EP.” “Maddie Acid’s Purple Hearts Club Band” is their third full-length album in collaboration with Madison Acid. The two have been collaborating for the last couple of releases from TV Girl, so it makes sense that they would eventually do a full album together.
The album kicks off with the dark and smokey “Cut Chop Break Burn.” With a sample from Susan Christie’s “Paint a Lady,” it drifts between cuts of various hip-hop songs mentioning the word “acid,” referring to Madison Acid. The intro also sets up the narrative for the whole album. Along with the hip-hop samples, there are many cuts from films like “I Spit On Your Grave” (1970) and “A Gun for Jennifer” (1997), films that are about women taking revenge on vicious men. These films, along with others through the span of this album, give it an attitude that is rarely seen in the genre. Maddie is a violent, explosive, swagger-filled anti-hero. The album feels like a Wu-Tang Clan album in that respect, drawing influence from films and incorporating them into the structure of the album. The album is heavily influenced by early 90’s hip-hop, while also keeping to the very dreamy production that TV Girl is known for.
The third track, “Make It Pop,” starts off with a cut from the trailer for “Ms. 45.” It sets up the narrative for the song, which is about street harassment. Maddie begins rapping about the frustrations she has with being cat-called. The story climaxes with a stalker following her, she eventually convinces the stalker that she wants him, lures him into a secluded area, and then murders him. It reaches an Eminem level of violence and description, especially when “And this is my idea of Dome, shove it in his mouth, make him feel the chrome” is delivered with crazy swagger. It’s an interesting role reversal, asserting that Maddie is a dangerous woman not to be trifled with.
Maddie’s flow throughout the entire album sways from different artists like Too $hort, Eazy E, and Ice Cube, making the style very interesting. Interesting isn’t always necessarily better, however, and I do have some issues with the way the songs are performed. There is a dissonance between the lyrics, beats, and flow that I find a bit distracting. Maddie seems very comfortable delivering these lines in a very laid-back way, but it doesn’t make the songs as effective as they would have been if they were delivered with a higher energy.
“I Thought You Were Cool” is a more conventional TV Girl song. Maddie sing-raps about good memories with a former lover, over a beat that is smooth and laid back. It doesn’t really stick to the theme of the overall album, but it shows a nicer side of Maddie between the extreme lyrics of the songs before it. It’s an intimate palate cleanser. “Speak French” comes back with more outlandish lyrics. The samples are excellent, all in French, with a beat that is easygoing and catchy. “Electric Kool-Aid” expands Maddie’s persona into a hardcore drug dealer. She’ll sell to anyone and has an expansive clientele.
All in all, “Maddie Acid’s Purple Hearts Club Band” is a worthwhile listen. It’s a breath of fresh air in a genre that doesn’t commonly have a persona like Maddie’s. I give this album a rating of 7 out of 10.