The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M players watch fireworks after Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
The sun will come out
April 21, 2024
Texas A&M players watch fireworks after Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
The sun will come out
April 21, 2024
Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Advertisement
Incoming journalism professors Mariano Castillo and Flora Charner sit with former student and Battalion staff member Ken Sury at the FJSA Hall of Fame reception ceremony held in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries in the Memorial Student Center on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M welcomes new journalism professors from CNN, Dallas Morning News
Ana Renfroe and Stacy CoxApril 19, 2024

At a ceremony honoring Aggie journalists, Texas A&M announced it will welcome three new journalism professors in the fall. New hires will...

Advertisement
LSU QB Jayden Daniels (5) runs with the ball during A&Ms game against LSU at Kyle Field on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Cameron Johnson/The Battalion)
2024 NFL Draft: Ranking every first-round graded quarterback
Mathias Cubillan, Sports Writer • April 21, 2024

As the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit is closing in, a microscope gets placed on the prospects who play the sport’s most valuable position. Featuring...

Texas A&M players watch fireworks after Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
The sun will come out
April 21, 2024
Advertisement
Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
Orchestrating a century-old tradition
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor • April 18, 2024

As Muster approaches, the Aggie Muster Committee works to organize a now century-old tradition. These students “coordinate every facet” of...

Advertisement
Texas A&M professor Dr. Christina Belanger teaches her Geology 314 class on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in the Halbouty Geosciences Building. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Opinion: Stop beating the dead [virtual] horse
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 22, 2024

Snow days were my favorite days of grade school. I would wake up extra early to stand in my living room to peer through the glass toward the...

Criticism: The Last Dinner Party’s ‘Prelude to Ecstasy’

Art+critic+Emma+Ehle+says+The+Last+Dinner+Party%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CPrelude+to+Ecstasy%E2%80%9D+is+dripping+with+grandeur+in+its+romantic+lyricism+and+baroque+visuals.+%28Photo+via+Raph_PH%2FFlickr%2FCC+BY+2.0+DEED%29
Art critic Emma Ehle says The Last Dinner Party’s “Prelude to Ecstasy” is dripping with grandeur in its romantic lyricism and baroque visuals. (Photo via Raph_PH/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Rating: 8/10

 

On Friday, Feb. 2, The Last Dinner Party released the official theatre-kid love child of Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and Florence and the Machine (if conceived in an 18th-century French society).

The album, Prelude to Ecstasy, is the latest project of up-and-coming British rock band The Last Dinner Party, a girl group that gained traction earlier this year after their song “Nothing Matters” went viral on TikTok. While the band has received several accusations of being a so-called “industry plant” — with their seemingly instantaneous rise in popularity raising alarm bells to more skeptical audiences — The Last Dinner Party (TLDP hereafter) has actually been around for several years, making their debut in December of 2021 before joining Hozier on his 2023 tour of the UK and Ireland. 

While both the band and album aesthetic reek of the recent ribbons and lace trend of the internet’s “coquette craze,” whether or not TLDP will likewise rise and fall with the fickle trend cycle is still unclear. What is clear, however, is that the group has produced an irrefutably strong debut album. 

Equal parts experimental and aptly familiar, “Prelude to Ecstasy” is a stylistically complex project that blends baroque aesthetics, art pop elements and the guttural vibrato of a 1990s singer-songwriter in order to produce something that is both contemporary and classic. The album — which radiates romance and chic grandeur — also manages to push past the surface of its trendy visuals, exploring love, loss, sexuality and self-perception; all through the lens of something deeply cathartic.

In terms of standouts, the album’s viral lead single “Nothing Matters” is a clear-cut front- runner. Between the track’s catchy melody, unique instrumentals, jarring lyricism and the ornamental quiver of lead singer Abigail Morris’ breathy vocals, it’s no surprise that “Nothing Matters” has seen such rapid success. 

Additionally, “Burn Alive” — which, according to Morris, was always intended to be the album’s lead single — showcases similar potential for commercial success, producing a swelling chorus that bubbles over with catharsis and coarse self-awareness. 

“I am not the girl I set out to be,” Morris sings with conviction. “Let me make my grief a commodity.” 

According to the 24-year-old lead singer, “Burn Alive” was the first song to exist within TLDP and pertains to the death of her late father. 

“Lyrically, it always felt like a mission statement,” Morris told Apple Music. “I wrote it just after my father passed away, and it was the idea of, ‘Let me make my grief a commodity’ — this kind of slightly sarcastic, ‘I’m going to put my heart on the line and all my pain and everything for a buck.’” 

Other standouts on the album include the powerful “Caesar on a TV Screen,” the hauntingly fierce “Portrait of a Dead Girl” and the introspective “The Feminine Urge.” 

Ultimately, Prelude to Ecstasy is a unique, captivating and cohesive project that foreshadows future success for this green new group. While there is still the question of if and how the band’s image will shift once their baroque, romantic visuals are no longer considered trendy, the group’s music substantiates the notion that they will be able to adapt accordingly. Therefore, we will all just have to wait and see — will this be The Last Dinner Party’s final feast? Or, will they live to “devour” another album?

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *