What if I told you that a former American Idol runner-up wrote a power ballad about medical marijuana? And what if I told you that this same, 20 year-old reality TV competitor released one of the most well-rounded, wildly mature pop records just last week? Okay, okay. Last hypothetical. What if I told you that Farmington Hills native Jena Irene Asciutto doesn’t give a fuck what you think? Cold Fame carefully balances innocence, rebellion and the space between the spotlight and the darkness.
Asciutto’s soaring vocals paired with the thoughtfully lush (but perfectly restrained) arrangements allow the lyrical content to swell, sink and float with pop magic. “So I Get High” finds a pro-pot Asciutto defending marijuana so cleverly that it could just as easily be a Bible study anthem. The imagery of “Floating Down the River” invokes a listless defiance with lyrics like “You can fuck me for free/Use each other till the morning/Then I’ll ask you to leave/I can’t give you my energy” masterfully masked with a radio-ready sweetness. And then there’s Amy Winehouse inspired and indiscreet “White Girl Wasted” complete with handclaps, ska horns and frequent use of “No fucks given.” What is most remarkable about Asciutto’s debut journey and rebirth is her commitment to being unapologetic no matter what genre she explores or which message she delivers. This consistent dance of acceptance and resistance is what makes Asciutto wise beyond her years yet so totally and honestly representative of being 20 in 2017.
Smoke the day away and vibe out with the new princess of pot below: