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October 26, 2023

Webster transcends genres on Underdressed at the Symphony

Sofia Exposito
Songwriter Faye Webster’s music consists of acoustic ballads while incorporating various emotions like sorrow, melancholy, passion and love. The Sidekick staff writer Anvita Bondada reviews Webster’s album Underdressed at the Symphony and comments on the indulging aspects of the album, the captivating lyrics and the overall soothing tones.

When dealing with a broken heart, people have different ways of coping. Singer-songwriter Faye Webster assuages her pain by impulsively going to classical music concerts at the very last minute, without thinking to change into a formal outfit. 

This habit is the inspiration for the title Underdressed at the Symphony, Webster’s fifth studio album, released on March 1.

Slowly growing in popularity amongst teenagers, Webster’s discography has been an avenue for relating to both heavy topics of heartbreak and loss, and reveling in the simplicity of everyday life. Her most recent album showcases her most recent breakup and all of the different ways her heartbreak manifests. 

The album opens with  “Thinking About You,” which details her longing for someone. This quiet, comforting track embraces the daydreams that come with uneventful days, a notion that is further developed through the album. Her repetition of the words “thinking about you,” while excessive at some points, posits different meanings, sometimes hinting at either Webster’s desperation for this person, or her just relishing in thinking about them. 

The second single released for this album, “But Not Kiss” is a 180-degree turn from the twingy first track. The song opens with Webster’s feathery voice but is cut off as a heavy bass reverberates in the chorus. Jagged lyrics, “We’re meant to be, but not yet/ You’re all that I have, but can’t get” align with the production, as she starts out hopeful and romantic, but goes into a more cynical, negative mindset as the beat drops and the metal instruments come into play. The fleeting piano sounds represent how her positive outlook for her relationship goes as quickly as it comes. 

Webster continues to interpolate different sounds throughout the album, which help differentiate each track in its own right. As each song has a similar, repetitive structure, the mix of different genres add to the different emotions Webster showcases throughout the album.

In the album’s lead single, “Lego Ring” featuring singer/rapper Lil Yachty, Webster uses the analogy of wanting a ring made out of Legos, an accessory that will hurt her, to how she yearns for a passionate yet turbulent romance. The chorus has a whimsical touch, with Yachty’s back-up vocals paired with the psychedelic music.

The simple lyricism and repetition in this song, with Webster crooning, I know what I like/ I know what I want / But you know I kinda need,” multiple times felt monotonous. This is a common theme throughout the album, as the repetitive phrases and uncomplicated lyricism made me lose interest at times.

In the introspective track “Wanna Quit All The Time” Webster talks about how it is difficult to be motivated in everyday life, and contemplates her perception of herself in the public. The sparse jazz music in the background allows Webster’s voice to shine, making the message of the lyrics the focal point of the song.

Webster also references her signature sound on “Underdressed at the Symphony” and “eBay Purchase History.” These two slower tracks are more reminiscent of her previous albums such as Atlanta Millionaires Club and Faye Webster. These tracks give the listener a taste of how she has progressed as an artist within her usual style.

Webster also includes elements of jazz music on “Ttttime”, where her honeyed drawl accompanies the soft jazz, indicating the slower parts of her life, and how she has the luxury of having all of the time in the world.  “Ttttime” closes the album as it starts, with a cozy, wistful outro, reminding the listener to embrace the mundane.

While seeming aimless and monotonous in areas, Underdressed at the Symphony encapsulates Webster’s trademark indie sound while expanding her musical prowess into different genres. Intricate yet simple, underdressed yet a symphony, listening to her album will leave you indulged in the simple complexities of life, love and everything in between.


Follow @anvita_bondada and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributors
Anvita Bondada, Staff Writer
Anvita Bondada is a junior and a second year staff writer on The Sidekick. She runs a small business selling press-on nails, called Nails by Anvita. Although she grew up in hot, arid Texas her favorite type of weather is rain of all kinds. In her free time, she enjoys shopping for clothes, listening to musicians such as Taylor swift and Gracie Abrams, doing her nails in a variety of styles, and playing with her dog Birkin. She enjoys watching romantic comedies, her favorites are 10 Things I Hate About You, Lala Land, and Easy A. She’s travelled a lot and her favorite location so far has been Venice and she would like to go to Greece if she got the chance.  She speaks Telugu at home and would like to major in marketing.  Anvita loves writing for a variety of sections, including writing opinion columns, reviews on music albums, and feature stories. She would like to expand to movie reviews this year. Over her years of experience on The Sidekick, she has discovered new horizons for writing and design for communication and self expression.  It also gave her a way to connect with Coppell high school and its students.  The Sidekick challenged her to break out and talk to people outside of her social circles. You can contact her at [email protected], or @anvitabondada on Instagram.  
Sofia Exposito, Staff Designer

Sofia Exposito is a sophomore and staff designer for The Sidekick. Five years ago, Sofia moved to Coppell, Texas from Venezuela, as her relatives reside here. Although English isn’t her first language, Sofia was able to pick it up quickly upon her move, taking only about one or two years. She adores drawing and spends most of her time sketching and creating designs and cartoons whenever she can. Her love for drawing has only grown over the years as Sofia aspires to be an animator and work for a large animation company one day. Some of her favorite animated movies are Spirited Away and Totoro as she’s a huge Studio Ghibli fan, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. She's an extrovert and loves to involve herself in conversation with new people, especially about things she’s very interested in. She loves the beach and swimming due to the beautiful sunset scenery. Her favorite foods include: anything chocolate, but mostly M&M’s, which are perfection in her eyes, and McDonalds. Contact her at [email protected], or on Instagram (@sofiaexpriv).

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