quarter note: Jazmin Bean – Worldwide Torture

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Graesen Joyce

Worldwide Torture, the non-binary (meaning they identify as neither male or female) star’s debut EP, is tangible proof of their dedication to originality.

Rating: 9/10

It’s a weirdly familiar story by now. A young adult with a new look arrives at fame’s doorstep overnight, and tens of thousands of their Instagram followers watch as they release their highly anticipated debut record. Jazmin Bean is no exception; rocketing to fame from an interview on Barcroft TV’s series, Hooked on the Look April 30, 2019, their music parallels the Tim Burton-esque makeup.

However, despite the similarities to other Instagram ‘influencers,’ Bean is different; Worldwide Torture, the non-binary (meaning they identify as neither male or female) star’s debut EP, is tangible proof of their dedication to originality.

The opening title track describes exactly what it advertises — worldwide torture. With lyrics such as “sour to the bone marrow, horror to the core / your blood is not enough, stupid, I just want more,” Bean abandons singing at the chorus and yells, blending rot-your-teeth sweet pop with noise rock and metal undertones. Bean’s voice sounds unsettlingly childlike and innocent as they chant “do it, do it, do it, hard!” in the background.

Bean’s lyrics reflect the emo subculture of the early 2000s combined with cutesy Hello Kitty imagery, making for a perfect opener to the 5-track EP.

On “Saccharine,” Bean describes being scared to fall in love, and responding to that fear with violence. Singing “oh, you make me afraid / Come closer, wait no, go away,” Bean fawns over their interest while pushing them away for fear of vulnerability. Each line has Bean changing their mind back and forth between love and hatred; “everything you say is like poetry / wanna drop you in boiling water, drink you like chamomile tea.”

By far the heaviest song on this album is “Hello Kitty,” where Bean describes their escapism from their life’s problems through innocence.

Bean contrasts lyrics in the verse “rotting away in my party of one and I honestly can’t tell you the last time I saw the sun,” with the chorus “kitty, she’s my favorite friend (she’s my only friend) / I know no matter who abandons me she’ll be there till the end.”

Bean takes us through what it’s like having your only escape be living secondhand through Hello Kitty, almost worshipping her like a god.

“Little Lamb” is the calmest song on the EP. Bean is at their most honest here, describing every insecurity that was previously mentioned on other tracks. Bean uses metaphors still, but they no longer hide behind them. They invite you into their mind to paint a picture with them.

Bean is strange, no doubt, but it works to their advantage. The strange, surrealist imagery they envelop themselves in is charming. It draws you in, and they don’t disappoint once they have you in their grasp.

The metaphors may seem weird at first, but Worldwide Torture is an exploration of being afraid of your own emotions, and living behind a mask. Jazmin Bean doesn’t miss a beat when taking you through that world; like they say on Hello Kitty, “I can teach you how to be just like me, just listen carefully.”