At the opening of 2 Real, the debut full-length album from Parisalexa, a voice asks, “Where are the spaces for people to be real, and to talk about what they’re dealing with?” The artist responds over the nine songs that follow with celebrations of positive energy, whether self-love, body-positivity, or staying genuine, inviting the listener to feel safe in their feelings. “Look at those thighs… You could make a grown man cry,” she sings encouragingly in “Slimthick,” the album’s muscular closer, before adding, “Still a bad bitch, though.” In a five-star review, Taylor Hart over at Respect My Region highlights all the ways the 21-year-old singer-songwriter is wise beyond her years, “empowering women to love themselves for who they are, one song at a time.” Parisalexa is primed to be The Town’s latest mega-star, recently signing a record contract with Ultra Music and Paperboy Records. The video for the single “Chocolate” highlights Black-owned businesses throughout the Central District, encouraging you to support them, as you should.
Here’s another take:
In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked 2 Real as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2020, saying:
The hometown energy has been high around this R&B phenom (who recently skipped to Portland) for years, topping this very poll with her first EPs in 2018. Since her impressive coming out party — which really began in her teens with a strong MoPOP Sound Off! showing — Parisalexa’s songwriting and ear for inescapable pop melodies has only strengthened, culminating on her self-assured full-length debut 2 Real. The ’90s R&B swagger she’s long wielded merges with contemporary pop and hip-hop productions on “Bentley Truck” — an earwormy bounce-along with her ride-or-dies — and velvety single “Chocolate,” an uplifting celebration of her Blackness.