Dorian Electra Turns Heads and Turns the Frogs Gay with ‘My Agenda’

If Dorian Electra’s 2019 release Flamboyant was the bursting neon flare in the sky signaling a successful reclamation of masculinity, then this year’s My Agenda is the bubbling mire from which toxicity spawns. Washed over in virulent greens, multitudes of features, and stark political commentary, Electra’s newest concoction tilts the scales once again through satirical pop samplings.

Untangling My Agenda has listeners pitting the previously established ideas from Flamboyant against Electra’s new sound. Whereas 2019 Electra was solid, 2020 sees them gaseous. Instrumentals then were royal and regal. Now, they are rowdy and rambunctious.

All of this is done to exhibit the lengths this album reaches for to combat these troublesome ideals of what it means to be masculine.

Album cover for Dorian Electra's album, My Agenda

Dorian Electra's My Agenda
Cover art by Weston Allen

“If you can’t beat them, join them.” This is the prophecy of inceldom and the beginning of the slippery slope presented in the album’s first track, “F the World.”

A digital bass slaps beneath chiming keys reigning in Electra’s voice for just about the only clear part of the song where their voice is distinguishable from the mounting instrumental. By the time the chorus hits, the walls are shaking and my teeth are falling out. Ok, maybe the latter is just me.

Electra gets lost in the thunderous chorus with only the slurs and pants of their voice slipping through to our ears. It’s not a betrayal towards the world, but more so one giving up on all their surroundings and making room for complacent apathy.

From d0llywood1’s verse to Electra’s unleashing of The Garden for their manic, howling spree atop percussion reminiscent of the duo’s recent release, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, “F the World” is like the last cry for help from the Flamboyant era we once knew before it all gives way to the rest of the album.

Emerging from there, the title track is quite literally written out to us, so I hope you’re taking notes. It’s quite possibly the most oddball song of the whole bunch thanks to features from Pussy Riot and Village People which, just like this album as a whole, is a mixture you wouldn’t think works as incredibly well as it does.

Hailing from Village People ilk of yore with their mainstream hits that were secretly queer espionage in disguise, Electra harnesses that energy to detail just how they are going to turn all of the frogs gay. No, really. This song is littered with humorous lyricism and plays into the panic many sects of the hegemonic hetero sphere feel yet are totally unaware of just as Village People successfully implemented years prior.

In some ways, it’s a love letter to songs like “Macho Man” and “YMCA.” It’s an anthemic hit with chugging guitar for a chorus, operatic Village People fills, and Pussy Riot singing in Russian. You really can’t make this stuff up, but the blending of all these elements to make a subversive message pull through is what’s most profound about “My Agenda.”

The next two tracks, “Gentleman” and “M’Lady,” go hand-in-hand in speaking to a toxic ideal the character has formulated of themselves. These tracks are simultaneously clanky and abrasive with their deep bass grooves and boiling pipe percussion.

Peak masculine bravado is established in “Gentleman,” where the farce of it all is through how securely the instrumental masks the satirical nature of the lyricism. Electra depicts this character as being insanely confident, all the while rocking a fedora and putting their pinky up high.

In “M’Lady,” the lyrics establish the most perfect woman for our character to be with, building her up to be a force of nature in every possible way from looks to taste while also somehow being “chaste” and a “whore.” It’s all cleared up later in the song before a breathy, panting outro whisks us away when we learn that this ideal woman actually is not real.

These two songs exhibit unrealistic standards that are harmful to try and attain, yet many live out their lives doing exactly that, even if the titles themselves are nothing more than memes from the past ten years of internet humor. They never get old, ok?

Dorian Electra in a fedora and dudebro sunglasses holding a sword

Dorian Electra by Lance Williams

“Iron Fist” comes right after and is a moshy electronic track centered around a relationship with dominance where sadistic fantasies have room to flourish. Faris Badwan is featured here and picks up the second verse following video game-y final boss guitars screeching akin to hair metal hammer-ons.

At this point in the album comes a highly effective shift where decency begins to come up for air after being pummeled down by the destructive tracks before it. The songwriting here is an eclectic offering first shown in “Barbie Boy” then followed up in “Sorry Bro (I Love You).”

For the former, we get a more standard, zany hyperpop instrumental with a dive straight into the chorus until Sega Bodega comes in to pick up the bridge later on. Softer cues of masculinity are hinted at here where bubbly synths replace the concrete-shattering beats previously facing the album.

Feelings are taken for granted and looks are customizable as your perfect boy is pieced together. None of it may be genuine and, as Sega Bodega sings accompanying an airy bridge, “You keep me and use me and throw me away when you're done.” It reveals that, while modular, the intentions of true love aren't there and are instead left to be extracted.

Anxious concerns over how to pursue a greater sense of their own gender identity continue in “Sorry Bro (I Love You)” where a common care for the fellow man can be misconstrued as being “too close” and “homoerotic.”

The song is meant to be an inclusive and comforting track picking apart the stereotype that caring for other men makes one “soft.” Jingly, twinkling keys paired with a bouncy bassline help to keep the mood up and serve a higher purpose in tying men together more than ever before.

“Monk Mode” incorporates Gaylord as a guest in a very unique death metal way as if they are chanting a mantra to stay focused, lasering in on staying true to one’s own toxic self-idealism. It’s a song that’s complete madness in just over a minute long blaze meant to collect themselves before the complete banger lined up next.

When you somehow manage to wrangle the illustriously infamous Rebecca Black for your hyperpop LP, you can never squander that opportunity. Luckily, Electra sets their sights on maximum overdrive delving into cringe culture on “Edgelord” to reclaim edginess once and for all.

Joker references, digitized stomach-churning bass, and trap snares comprise this track to create breathing room for commentary on how edginess has become a lost term seeking reclamation and redefinition. Black turning our “favorite fuckboy to a simp” wasn’t the lyric I thought we needed this year, but, now? Definitely the one we deserved.

Then, out of the blue, “Ram It Down” appears as an EDM-injected, whip-cracking bop with Michael Jackson-esque “Ah’s” thrown in for extra good measure. Lil Mariko skates in just to scream at the end and provide even more to the dilemma presented in the chorus.

LGBTQ+ activities are permissible to the character presented as long as they aren’t forced down their throat… then seconds later begs for exactly that to be shoved down even harder and the instrumental grows more viscously thumpier. Electra strikes for a weakpoint in bigoted audiences with this track and lands quite the fatal blow on top of it being a maddeningly dancey tune.

To close the album out is “Give Great Thanks,” a BDSM ballad composed of surrendering lyrics where hegemony is finally traded in for feelings that have potentially been internalized this entire time. Soulfully singing with autotune carrying the melody into the heavens above, this song is about ascension and shedding previous notions of toxicity, gaining wings in a sense, even if that wingspan could be mistaken for bondage rope.

Over what sounds like a garbage disposal, a piano plays the melody wistfully as the song evaporates. For such a heavy and blistering record, “Give Great Thanks” is like singing in the lounge of a hardcore venue only open from dusk to dawn, performing to the stragglers who may have fallen asleep waiting for their rideshare to come bring them home.

Dorian Electra whipped up My Agenda to provide the perfect, poisonous companion piece to their previous offering with Flamboyant. In many ways it mirrors the arching themes of their previous work where the themes were more general and encouraging.

By donning the cowl and worming their way into the dominion of masculinity, Electra has spliced together the perfect message for changing things from within by achieving excellent subterfuge.

None could imagine a stronger followup while being one that comments so readily on how dangerous ideal sets can lead to such destructive behavior and belittlement of not only others, but oneself. Through subversive, enlightening bangers encompassing some of the smartest uses of features in the hyperpop sphere, Electra paints a brighter future where edgy intellectualism is paramount. Waking up sheeple has never had a cooler sound to it.

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