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Girl in Red bares all in ‘I’m Doing It Again, Baby!’

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Kaitlyn Close

Do you listen to Girl in Red? If not, you’re missing out. On April 12, Marie Ulven released her second album, “I’m Doing It Again, Baby” on all streaming platforms.

On this album, Ulven showcases the vulnerability and charm of being a queer twenty-something in the 21st century, as well as adding unique experimental touches on production style that sets this album apart from the rest of her discography. 

Hailing from Horten, Norway, Marie Ulven cultivated a queer cult following in 2018 with the release of her singles, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” and “We Fell in Love in October,” both of which have become sapphic indie-pop anthems. Ulven continued to rise in popularity following the release of her 2021 album, “If I Could Make It Go Quiet,” which was commercially and critically acclaimed.

In 2023, Ulven transcended from an online sensation to a household name by joining Taylor Swift’s iconically successful “Eras Tour” as an opening act for some of Swift’s U.S. tour dates, performing in front of tens of thousands of people each night. 

On her sophomore album, “I’m Doing It Again, Baby,” Ulven continues to wear her heart on her sleeve, pouring out her feelings of self-reflection and growth while still struggling with insecurities. 

In the introductory first track, “I’m Back,” Ulven expresses an appreciation for the good and the not-so-good aspects of life, understanding that without all of those experiences, she would not be the same person she is today. “It’s not the end of the world / Time doesn’t stop for a sad little girl.” The optimism Ulven conveys in her lyrics almost feels a bit childlike, which are accompanied by a tranquil piano lullaby as the song grows to a climax with twinkling synthesizers, while a slow, calming sound of a distant wind chime escorts us to the end of the track. The whole song feels like the first spring day after a frigid winter, which is precisely what Ulven does in the music video for the track, which she released along with the album.

In the second track, “DOING IT AGAIN BABY,” Ulven exhibits a sense of euphoria throughout the production of the track, backed up by charging guitar solos, thumping bass riffs and drums that pound down a new road for Ulven. She also incorporates some banjo in the instrumentals for this song, which is an eccentric addition to the track. “I’m on a new level, something’s got me feeling like / I could be inflammable, and I might be.” In her lyrics, Ulven shows a similar sense of optimism that she did in the first track, but this time with a sense of confidence and power that the previous track lacked. 

The third track, “Too Much,” feels like an optimistic breakup song, a departure from Ulven’s previous songs with a similar message. “All I ever wanted was your love / I toned myself down for you / Volume one, almost mute / I’ll never ignite.” Instead of Ulven painting a picture of sapphic heartbreak for us, this song feels like an accomplishment. Ulven is ready to walk away, instead of allowing herself to be diminished by a partner who is not appreciative of her. 

In the fifth track, Ulven collaborates with fellow Eras Tour opener, Sabrina Carpenter, on “You Need Me Now?” Both Carpenter and Ulven seem to be responding to a partner who scorned them and is attempting to crawl back into their lives. “You made heartbreak look elegant /Abused me with intelligence / I could have sworn you were heaven-sent.” This track holds similar themes of the fourth track, “Phantom Pain,” but instead of feeling unsure about where she stands with a partner, Ulven is confident in her choice to let this person go. The lyrics are supported by the high-energy guitar licks and tight drum fills, reminiscent of pop-punk of the early 2000s.

The album hits a lull on the seventh track, “Pick Me.” We return to Ulven’s insecure inner monologue, accompanied by grandiose piano trills. Ulven seems to be tousling with feelings of neglect and worthlessness following a break up in the lyrics, but the feelings she is trying to express fall flat in this track. “So why, you’re leaving with him? / And I guess he’s got something I can’t give / I might be falling apart / I think you know I havе been from the start.” This track is so close to being a real showstopper of the album, but the song seems to be in the same place that it started in by the time it ends. That may be the point behind the track that Ulven is trying to get at, but the track feels ill-fitting for where it sits. 

The tenth, and final track, “★★★★★,” is a quick and upbeat one, with electro-pop sounds that feel heavily reminiscent of house music. It’s fast and fun, and the lyrics seem to 

mirror Ulven’s experiences in the music industry. “Six out of six, I never miss / You gotta be delusional to be in the biz.”It’s a departure from the themes of the other tracks on the album, but it’s a fun way to end the tracklist.

Overall, “I’m Doing It Again, Baby,” feels like a great continuation of what fans love 

about Girl In Red’s records. The themes of the songs are relatable to a young audience, have a variety of emotions, and the album as a whole feels very candid. Like having access to Ulven’s personal diary, or having a therapeutic recap with an old friend. Whatever way you take it, “I’m Doing It Again, Baby,” feels like having an intimate look at Ulven’s inner dialogue that she has not allowed her fans to sneak a peek at before.

Although the tracks could perhaps be organized in a way that does not give listeners emotional whiplash going through the album, it’s a can’t-miss album if you’re a fan of Ulven’s work. Not necessarily Ulven’s best, but a very solid, cohesive and fun record nonetheless.

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About the Contributors
Nance Onsrud, Reporter
Nance Onsrud (any pronouns) is a senior english major with a concentration in literary studies and a minor in communications.
Kaitlyn Close
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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