Emilie Autumn’s Fight Like a Girl is probably her most personal and intimate album to date.
Enchant seemed to be a stepping stone, a place where she could tread the waters of what she really wanted to do outside of being a classically trained musician, leading to Opheliac. That release earned its own era, expressing the want to fight back and take control, a way for Emilie Autumn to deal with her demons. This of course brings us to Fight Like a Girl.
It has been a long time since 2006’s Opheliac, but before Autumn could make Fight Like a Girl, she had to write the story. This is the soundtrack to her upcoming Broadway musical which is based on her autobiography, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. And considering Autumn did not enlist the help of anyone, it makes sense that it took 6 years.
This was obviously made to be performed as a musical, with the tracks “Girls! Girls! Girls!” “Gaslight”, “Goodnight, Sweet Ladies” and “One Foot in Front of the Other” instantly bringing to mind musical theatre. You can even picture Emilie and The Bloody Crumpets performing every part. There is little to fault here, except that maybe Autumn’s violin has taken a step back as the harpsichord gains a starring role.
Fight Like a Girl makes more sense when heard from beginning to end, rather than shuffled amongst a playlist, but separately each track still has its merits. While a lot of the album has a distinct soundtrack feel, tracks like “If I Burn”, “Fight Like a Girl” and “Time for Tea” would be equally as home here as on Opheliac. In fact, the title track and “Time for Tea” – while great – seem almost out of place, as they don’t follow the score of the rest of the album. They are also the first two tracks, a prelude to the story about to unfold.
Emilie Autumn has taken a different route here, but fans should not be surprised. It is not uncommon for her to finish an era, close the door and start anew. Fight Like a Girl is not the place to start for newcomers. To understand and truly appreciate this record, you will need to have heard Enchant and Opheliac, read her novel and appreciate her story. Only then will you truly value Fight Like a Girl.
1. Fight Like a Girl
2. Time for Tea
3. 4 O’clock Reprise
4. What Will I Remember
5. Take the Pill
6. Girls! Girls! Girls!
7. I Don’t Understand
8. We Want Them Young
9. If I Burn
12. The Key
13. Hell is Empty
14. Gaslight Reprise
15. Goodnight, Sweet Ladies
16. Start Another Story
17. One Foot in Front of the Other