Night Time, My Time ends with its title track, a gloomy, string-driven drone over which Sky Ferreira croons, “I’m useless and I know it/ Auditory hallucination/ You said I don’t care what I’m thinking about/ But I’m thinking of you right now.” It’s borderline goth music, both unsettling and strangely engaging. It’s also a surprise after the preceding 11 tracks on Ferreira’s long delayed debut album, which are mostly electro-pop numbers with a heavy 1980s influence. Taken as a whole, it makes more sense: Night Time, My Time veers from earnestness to self-commentary to weird cultural throwaways without really pinning down what it wants to sound like.

In recent years, Ferreira has become more notable for her lack of releases than for her actual music, a state of affairs that does not escape comment on Night Time, My Time. She was signed by Capitol Records at age 15, but had already spent several years gearing up for a career as a pop star. At 21, she’s just releasing her first album, after two EPs and repeatedly scrapped announcements that yes, this ingénue would someday be the next big thing. While she’s still on Capitol, one of most major of major labels, Ferreira has since gravitated to presenting herself as an indie artist tied down by the industry, hanging out with director Gaspar Noé in Paris and becoming something of a Tumblr star, such as we now define the term. All of this is mostly notable for how often it comes up on Night Time, My Time, and how the singer wants to play it both ways.

On “I Blame Myself” Ferreira addresses her notoriety, quite literally on the former. She sings, “Is it because you know my name/ Or is it because you saw my face on the cover” and “I just want you to realize/ …I blame myself for my reputation.” It’s a heartfelt song full of crunching guitars and Ferreira’s muscular voice. It also feels passive aggressive, taking responsibility for herself while making sure you know about it. Similarly, it’s tempting to take “Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)” as a complaint about her treatment by the industry, but at what point does that become reading too much into things? Ferreira doesn’t help matters with moves like an album cover of herself topless and wet in a shower (shot by Noé) and then claiming it was more a matter of practicality than provocation. For someone who’s spent the majority of their adult life in show business, that’s not naiveté, that’s condescending in its obtuseness.

So, past the hype, how does Night Time, My Time sound? Not too bad, but not that exciting either. While Ferreira’s sentiments are across the board throughout the album (ranging from the naked hope of “Boys” to the bleak final track), the production work by Ariel Rechtshaid and Justin Raisen is consistently strong, filled with catchy guitar work and minimalist synths. Ferreira is a powerful singer, able to both belt on album highlight “24 Hours” (which sounds like a lost ‘80s OMD track) and go gentle on “Love in Stereo.” The 12 tracks of the album tend towards the lyrically simplistic (or earnest, depending on your generosity) and are heavily reliant on repeating choruses over and over, but rarely grate. For the few standout tracks, there’s an equal number of forgettable tracks like the disposable “Omanko” and “I Will.” Hopefully time will push Ferreira forward, and not let her stew in the industry quagmire she seem to both rail against and want to use for her primary creative material.

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