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  • Isabel Mays

Album Review: "Alchemical: Volume 1" - Dove Cameron




To say Dove Cameron has come a long way since her time at Disney would be an understatement. And the wait for her debut album is finally over, at least for the first part of it. Alchemical: Volume 1 is the first part of the artist's debut studio album, and it does not disappoint. With a short but sweet setlist, this album is filled with absolute powerhouses that left me on the edge of my seat with every song that played.


TRACKLIST


Lethal Woman

Still

Breakfast

Sand

White Glove

God's Game

Boyfriend

FRAGILE THINGS



As I previously mentioned, Dove Cameron is probably most well-known for her role(s) as twin sisters Liv and Maddie on the hit show Liv and Maddie on Disney Channel and for her role in Schmigadoon on Apple TV+. She also had a lead role in the Disney Channel original movie series Decendents, where fans were able to listen to her stunning voice constantly. Now, with Disney in her past, Dove is focusing on her professional music career, and she's kicking it off with Alchemical: Volume 1! Dove is also an openly bisexual woman, and she explores her sexuality through her music on more than one occasion. It's refreshing to see someone I used to watch as a child now growing into more of her own person, and I had a lot of high hopes for this album. Needless to say, she did not disappoint in the slightest.


Lethal Woman


We're starting off strong with the opening track on the album, "Lethal Woman". Immediately, I knew I was going to be obsessed with this song. In an interview, Dove mentioned how this song was about a woman who once "cast a spell" on her. It's an anthem for women with a powerful energy to it. I also love the accompaniment to this song, which includes a good amount of synth and gunshots. Yes... gunshots. It's perfect, and I feel gave the song more power.



Still


Coming up next on the setlist is a song delving into the need for genuine connection in a relationship. The lyrics "Can we just stand still" are repeated throughout the song, and usually with little backing accompaniment with it, which made me consider the meaning behind the words. Society expects all relationships to be a certain way, but "Still" proves that sometimes, it's hard for a relationship to conform to those norms. I love how Dove prioritizes using a whispery voice for this song. I could hear every bit of emotion in the lyrics she sang, and I fell deeper and deeper in awe thanks to it.


Breakfast


There are two tracks on this album that I quickly fell in love with, one of them being "Breakfast". This song can be interpreted in a few different ways. Many fans, including Dove herself, have mentioned the overturning of Roe v. Wade as an inspiration for the music video. But if you want to think of it simply, it's a song about the unfair gender norms women have to deal with compared to men. "I eat boys like you for breakfast / One by one hung on my necklace" is an absolutely killer lyric that I think sold the song completely for me. I'll die on this hill, "Breakfast" is arguably one of the best songs on this album.



Sand


One of the darkest ballads on this album would have to be "Sand". According to Dove herself, "Sand" is about a relationship she had with someone she thought she would be with forever. However, it soon transitions to the idea that sometimes, the relationship could feel pretty one-sided and that you could often be doing more to save it than your partner. Many fans have their own ideas on who specifically this song is about, but I don't think the point is to theorize that. The point is to consider Dove's feelings through this relationship, and the negative emotions she surely felt. This song is hauntingly beautiful and deserves every bit of praise.


White Glove


This is one of the more interesting songs on the album production-wise. However, that is in no way a bad thing! In fact, I think it fits the overall vibe of the album very well! "White Glove" expands into themes of sex, drugs, and money. And, at only two and a half minutes, lots of different elements were able to make its way into the final product. There's an almost robotic sound to Dove's voice, but I think it works well! I also love how there are moments where you just hear Dove yell out, or sing in a low voice that sent shivers down my spine. I was obsessed with every bit of this song.


God's Game


"God's Game" is another one of those songs that hit me right in the feels. It's a song about manipulation and self-doubt, and how they could ruin a relationship. Emotional abuse is always a difficult subject, but I think Dove expressed her thoughts and emotions very well. One lyric that I think was genius was "Just a boy with a man's face / Playing God's Game". I think it only grazes the surface of what Dove may have experienced, and gives the listener a never-before-seen look into her life. I always appreciate when an artist uses their platform to discuss different issues, and I think that unfortunately, this song will resonate with listeners. It was beautifully written, and I give Dove all the respect in the world.



Boyfriend


This is probably my favorite song on the album, and for GOOD REASON. "Boyfriend" is well-known online as being Dove's official queer anthem. It's about Dove as she tries to steal a girl away from her boyfriend. This song has everything: it's sexy and powerful, has a great backing accompaniment, a killer music video, and well-written lyrics that honestly sold the entire album for me. This song was the one that piqued my interest in Dove's professional music career, and honestly, I've been a genuine fan of her music since. If I had to vote for which song I feel deserves the most recognition on this album, I would vote for this one every time without a doubt.



FRAGILE THINGS


"FRAGILE THINGS" is the final song on this album, and I think it's a perfect ending to the masterpiece Dove has created. It's about a dying relationship, and just how easily it can be broken down to nothing. Vulnerability is always difficult to navigate in a relationship, and it's hard to watch one crumble. Love is fragile, and that is made abundantly clear during the whole three minutes of runtime. I empathize with everyone who may have experienced a relationship like this in their life, and I'm sure this song can give some viewers comfort and hope.


Overall, I was obsessed with this album. I was immediately drawn in with Dove's sultry yet impactful lyrics. And with tracks that celebrate both women and men, I was able to connect pretty easily. As a gay woman, I can confirm that these are all valid anthems, and I'll be listening to them all on repeat for a while. So, go and experience this album for yourself. Alchemical: Volume 1 is available to stream now, and I promise, you will not be disappointed.


Written By Isabel Mays



*copyright not intended. Fair use act, section 107.

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