Album Review | FLETCHER – Girl Of My Dreams
Girl Of My Dreams is an ensemble of fleeting moments, a journey through Cari Fletcher’s thoughts, feelings and experiences these past two years. From the raw pain of getting her heart broken by the one she thought she was going to marry to picking herself back up and learning to be self-sufficient, FLETCHER shows a vulnerability that older fans have grown to cherish over the years.
The 28-year-old artist has always been very honest about her feelings, whether they be good or bad. In a quest for authenticity, Fletcher worked through her last breakup very openly. During quarantine, the singer teamed up with her ex-girlfriend, director Shannon Beveridge, on THE S(EX) TAPES, a series of songs and their accompanying videos that the two women directed, shot and starred in together during quarantine back in 2020.
Girl Of My Dreams picks up right where that last project left off, with pieces of a broken heart scattered on the floor. Except Fletcher is no longer fighting the heartbreak. Through the course of thirteen tracks, the New Jersey native fully embraces her emotions as one would embrace the five stages of grief.
1 – THE DENIAL (Avoidance, confusion, shock)
Album kick off tracks “Sting” and “Guess We Lied” dwell in the denial stage, with the singer admitting to “still feel [her ex] right here every now and then.” Denial seems to serve as self preservation for Fletcher, who goes as far as sampling the chorus of one of her older songs “If You’re Gonna Lie” as if to hold on to that feeling. The album is full of little production moves that make Girl Of My Dreams Fletcher’s best work yet, and the sampling of her 2019 you ruined new york city for me EP is definitely one of the best ones.
2 – THE ANGER (Frustration, irritation)
There’s another thing we can credit Fletcher for, and that’s her ability to channel her emotions through her lyrics, whether they be for an acoustic track or a more rock-leaning one. Fully acoustic “Birthday Girl” is raw and vulnerable, and yet serves as the perfect explanation for Fletcher’s frustration. Being born on the same day as your ex-girlfriend and having to celebrate without her after the breakup will do that to you. This frustration can also be felt and heard in the next track of the album, viral hit track “Becky’s So Hot.” Although production-wise, the two tracks are polar opposites, the two have Fletcher exploring a part of her that she’s suppressed for so long. “I’m exploring my relationship towards aggression and rage in a way that feels like women are supposed to suppress,” the singer recently shared about the rock-leaning track, in which she directly calls out her ex’s new girl. “There’s a certain grit and agression to [“Becky’s So Hot”] lyrically that I wanted something that really sonically matched it.”
3 – THE BARGAINING (Struggling to find meaning, reaching out)
However, the aftermath of such a burst of adrenaline can be a struggle. When all that frustration fades and the adrenaline dies down though, one is usually left with a loss of words with themselves, and Fletcher was no exception. While “Better Version” has the songwriter dip into her regrets over her past relationships, “Conversations” shows her going through a full blown existential crises. “My head and my heart are at war and I’m stuck in the crossfire,” she sings over a strong bass beat before later admitting she has a tendency to make things harder for herself.
4 – THE DEPRESSION (Helplessness, overwhelmed)
Self-sabotaging is a very common trait, and this is one of Girl Of My Dreams’ core subjects. Throughout the album, Cari Fletcher paints a representation of the “complex and sensitive-as* Pisces that [she’s] always been.” Track 7 titled “Serial Heartbreaker” has the singer sharing in one breath all the ways she’s constantly contradicting herself, wanting something one second, and something completely different the next. It almost feels like Fletcher is drowning in all her emotions and struggling to swim back up to the surface.
5 – THE ACCEPTANCE (Moving on, new plans)
The second half of the album has Fletcher finally figuring it all out though: her doubts, her insecurities, her needs, and most importantly, herself. She once again take a stance as an openly queer artist in “Her Body Is Bible” – the viral hit that served as the first preview of the album back in June – before finally giving herself some credit in the slower-paced “I Think I’m Growing?”. The eponymous track “Girl Of My Dreams” showcases a real switch in the dynamic of FLETCHER’s relationship with herself. After calling herself out on a lot of fronts and looking for the girl of her dreams all this time, FLETCHER realises that what she’s been looking for has been right there in front of her this whole time. “Holidays” further validates the artist’s growth, with lines such as, “Unlocked a brand new pеrspective, direction. I’m lеarnin’ lessons, not missin’ exes or stressin’.” Part of the beauty of this debut record lies within the track list and how well the track order was curated. In the last two tracks, after this overwhelming rollercoaster of feelings, FLETCHER reclaims her younger self. Real odes to little Cari Elise Fletcher, “I Love You, B*tch” and “For Cari” are two of the most emotional tracks you’ll find on the record.
FLETCHER’s album Girl Of My Dreams serves as a perfect debut, for it paints a picture of all the ways Fletcher has evolved and grown over the past couple of years. It’s a manifesto of the artist’s growth and most importantly of her self-acceptance, self-liberation and newly-found self-love. In pure FLETCHER fashion, it’s intimate and unfiltered and there is no doubt that fans, old and new, will be screaming the evocative lyrics back at her on tour in no time.