Summer’s highly anticipated third album finally came to bless our ears on November 5th as an extension from her previous album ‘Over It’. Whilst fans have been made aware of the trials and tribulations with her now-ex through her previous album, news of their relationship turning sour only had me thinking one thing- this next album is going to be sweet.
I’m aware that the average person may not be thrilled hearing that one of their favourite artists is heartbroken, however, considering her track history of doing so, I couldn’t wait to hear how she was going to turn her pain into something beautiful for me, and others, to obsess over and repeatedly play an *appallingly* number of times.
‘Still Over It’ starts with a solid opening track featuring narration from Cardi B and follows with the album’s single ‘Ex for a Reason’. ‘No Love’ featuring SZA comes next; in the third verse she sings ‘tell me what’s changed is it my status? Is it my fame?’ Though many of her listeners won’t be able to relate living the lavish lifestyle of the wealthy, I like the fact that she alludes to her personal progression as being emasculating for her ex; potentially being a cause of tension between their relationship. This appeals to the everyday person as, to me, it’s simply a reminder to keep doing you; in romantic, familial, or platonic relationships, your personal development may be a source of jealousy and strife for others which is something many people may be able to relate to. Not everyone wants to see you happy and not everyone wants you to do better than them, but that’s ok, just keep progressing towards what’s important to you- whether that be academically, professionally, materially, mentally, physically, or spiritually.
‘Throw it away’ was the first song to grip me when listening to the album – really and truly it was the pre-chorus and chorus for me; I’m going to let you listen to the song yourself to hear what she’s saying. It’s evident everything she’s singing is applicable to a romantic heartbreak. However, it’s also interesting to think how her lyrics are relevant past that; she touches on feelings of self-inadequacy stemming from another and the emotional weight unhealthy relationships can have on you. As humans, whether we like to admit it or not, we sometimes have a tendency to – especially if it’s coming from a person whose opinion we value – take what they’re saying as fact. It’s sad but we’re often predisposed to accepting false opinions as our reality and this may be the case due to a multitude of reasons and experiences. From listening to this song more, I came to the realisation that I can relate to certain aspects from both sides of the story; sometimes I’m the one feeling all the emotions and sometimes I’m the one who’s ‘fronting like [I’m] numb’ to get by and escape reality.
With that being said, the album took me on a journey with her personal emotions but also allowed me to do some introspection of my own. Although it’s a given that those that have been heartbroken may be able to connect to this album on a different level, those that have never experienced romantic heartbreak, like myself, may still be able to find an element of relatability.
Although I’ve been talking about the album on a deeper level, it’s a project that can be played on any occasion and that’s something I love about it. Whether you want to chill, genuinely want something to vibe to, some background music, or you want to be an emotional wreck and slide down a wall; it’s got a high repeatability factor.
Some songs in a few words:
- ‘Ex for a reason’: listen if you want to slash someone’s tires (hypothetically)
- ‘Insane’: if you’ve ever been driven to thoughts of irrationality say ‘I’
- ‘Broken promises’: you live and you learn
- ‘Closure’: a classic breakup snd attachment issues
- ‘Unloyal’: a tune for all the independent, classy and sophisticated babes
Songs for your feels:
Reciprocate, you don’t know me, session 33
For when you’re feeling yourself:
Dat right there, unloyal, no love
If you want a smooth, soulful vibe:
Circus, insane, throw it away
I find it interesting how the album starts with ‘Bitter’ and ends with a prayer. Summer may have intentionally done this to show that there will be a time when healing and peace will come, but also that all your emotions are valid: from feelings of regret to an altar-inflated ego, longing to nostalgia, it’s all ok and perfectly normal to experience them all at once or in stages.
This one’s for all the queens that are or have been heartbroken, the introspective queens, the independent queens, the passionate queens, the queens that have been- and still are- over it, and simply to anyone that’s a lover of R&B.
My current favourites:
- ‘Constant Bull***t’
- ‘Throw it Away’
- ‘4th Baby Mama’
- ‘Unloyal’ (ft. Ari Lennox)
- ‘Toxic’ (ft. Lil Durk)
Other Summer Walker recommendations:
- ‘Over It’: album
- ‘Clear’: EP
- ‘Session 32’: single
Words by: Michele Ngue-Awane
Edited by: Holly Phillips