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‘Alchemical: Volume 1’ finds a darker, more vulnerable Dove Cameron

Dove Cameron’s debut album

Dove Cameron’s new album “Alchemical: Volume 1″ is an original, contrasting sound from her more known Disney days and was released on Dec. 1, 2023.

In an interview on the Jennifer Hudson Show she stated, “I ended up naming the album alchemical because it’s this word that started to follow me as I evolved and I grew up.” This is demonstrated through the album as it is full of darker themes and emotions from her early life.

She goes on to say that “Alchemy feels like something you can grow from and you can become something from these things.” This idea brings some hope to the album as a whole. 

She started this album with “Lethal Woman,” which debuted on her EP “Sand.” This piece of work is an introduction into the feminist message that she loves to center her music around. It includes a lot of subtle remarks about society and its standards, which is right up her alley. I give this song a 3/5 because I love the song, but it is not one that I would listen to as often as some other songs that I love. 

The next song on her album is “Still” and it is a break in her album because of its calm tone and slow tempo. One lyric that stuck out to me was “We only know higher than high/lower than low, no in between” The song itself is discussing the chaos of life and how we never take a second to stand still and exist, enjoy the moment, or breathe. I give this song a 4/5 because it was one of my favorites and it is definitely one of the songs I will continue to listen to months from now. 

The next song on the album was one of the few singles released and one of the most iconic. “Breakfast” became extremely popular on TikTok and the goal was to switch the common gender roles. To make people uncomfortable. It came out during the Roe v Wade decision and was Dove’s creative way to express her opinion. I give this song a 4.5/5 because it is extremely catchy and has a wonderful bass. 

Furthermore, the title track of her EP, Sand, that was released on November 10 is another calm piece of work. It is a gentle demonstration of calm before the storm of knowing a relationship is over. It expresses the feeling of putting your everything into something and the other person not putting forth any time or effort. I gave this song  4/5 because it is another song that I will still listen to in the future, but it is not my favorite track on the album. 

Another new sounding song on this album is “White Glove.” It is a fast paced, punk pop sounding song. It gave me the feeling of a tense investigation in which the detectives are using white gloves to find any evidence possible for a case. The lyrics, however, are implicative of a cheating scenario. I gave this song a 3/5 because it is upbeat and up the current alley of my song taste. 

One of the darkest songs on the album is “God’s Game” in which talks about insecurities and mental health, which is disguised in a breakup-ish song.  I gave it a 3.5/5 because it is a nice song that I would listen to, but I definitely did not like it as much as a lot of the other songs. 

The first single released off the album back in February of 2022 is “Boyfriend.” This song went viral for its catchiness and the dark undertone. Dove said in her interview with Zach Sang that she had not even planned to release the hit. She also stated that she believes that the song is so unapologetically personal because she wrote it for herself and wasn’t thinking about how popular it could get. I gave this song a 4.5/5 because it is extremely catchy and one of my favorites of her songs. 

The last song on the album is “FRAGILE THINGS.”  This song reminds me of the final destination of a breakup, or the zoom out/big picture of a fight scene. It was serene, full of emotion, and made you want to cry. Some lyrics that caught my attention were “The foundation’s here, but the magic is gone” and “Love is like a house of fragile things/where hearts can be broken as easy as antiques.” These lyrics seem so extravagantly deep and lyrically creative that they scratched an itch in my brain. In an interview with “Elle,” Dove says that “FRAGILE THINGS” is the most vulnerable track on the album and that is shown through the lyrics and delivery. These are the things that made this song a 4.5/5 and my favorite song on the album. 

Overall, this album is a creative and interesting approach to express the emotions behind her life recently. Also in her Elle interview she discusses how she “wrote the first half of the album about a breakup that was a really pivotal moment for me in my life.” This is a direct representation of how she wants to move on from what she is known for and create a new path for herself. She goes more in depth with this during her Jennifer Hudson interview when she says, “The first half is like a prequel…and the second half is like where I am now and where I am going.” Although I wouldn’t put this album on repeat for an extended period of time, I would recommend it and it doesn’t have any skips.

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About the Contributor
Amber Straub
Amber Straub, Reporter
Amber Straub is a senior and first year Beaver Tales staff member. She enjoys writing small works, reading, art, and music. She has three older dogs and five cats total (two of those being rescue kittens). She is also a current member of the Corry Key Club and enjoys helping with volunteer work in her free time.