Album Review review by Shawn Bao
Award shows? Over it. Your opinion on her sex life? Over it. Touring? Summer Walker is over it.
The 23-year-old artist, now with the most streamed album of all time by a female R&B singer, is one of the many up and coming artists stricken with social anxiety and/or just desires their own peace of mind, which can be a hard mission to accomplish for someone who’s hit is remixed by Drake (“Girls Need Love”).
Yes, she did go to BET’s Soul Train Awards and shyly accept her award for Best New Artist.
Yes, she may be up at 3:34 am.. contemplating calling an old fling, but she’s fine with sexual liberation.
Touring though… she’s really over it, y'all don’t deserve me, she tweeted when cancelling most of her tour dates, however she kept several big city dates, which seems to be where she can still cash in.
Two years ago, Summer Walker was @summersoclean on Instagram, cleaning houses. “Sometimes I still tell people I clean houses,“ said Walker last year on Beats 1 Radio in an interview with Zane Lowe for her debut mixtape “Last Day of Summer.”
Her freshman mixtape is mostly a diary of stories about all the things she’s craved or worked through up until the project’s release, things she couldn’t say aloud or just didn’t have anyone to share them with - an archetype she carried over to her 2019 release “Over It.”
At first glance of both Walker and her album - face tattoos, piercings, song titles like “Body,” “Come Thru” and “Stretch You Out,” along with features from Bryson Tiller, Usher and PartyNextDoor - you may see an artist that seems to fit the typical trappings of a rising R&B artist in the streaming era, but everything Summer Walker does in and out the studio subverts all expectations.
Though you can find the legendary Destiny’s Child “Say my name,” line on Playing Games as Walker sings:
“Did I ever ask you to take me to go shopping in Paris
Or go sailing overseas and just drape me in Gucci? No
All I asked was you to pick up the phone when you alone…
So won’t you say my name, say my name?”
And while London On Da Track also makes use of two classic samples on “Come Thru,” and “Body,” featuring Usher - where we hear more classic bars in another sample, this time from Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna.”
Yet, Summer glides through the album with her own personal wisdoms from troubled relationships, statements of independence and empowerment that freshens all that is borrowed. Like in bringing in PartyNextDoor on “Just Might,” Summer flips the finger to love and relationships all together, saying things like “No more of that, love is a losing game, so I just might be a hoe.”
“Over It,” and Ari Lennox’s “Shea Butter Baby” may be the most personal and honest offerings from up and coming R&B artists since SZA’s 2017 project (“Ctrl”).
Like Ari, Summer Walker doesn’t care about the typical trappings of anything, she wants to stay in the dark, on her own and make music and as long as we’re getting projects that fall in line with the trajectory she has set for herself, I’m happy with that.
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