For the Atlanta-based 23-year old artist known as Summer Walker, 2019 has been a long series of blowing away expectations that have been laid out for the R&B artist; from blessing fans earlier this year with the Drake-infused remix for “Girl Needs Love” to now dropping her highly anticipated debut album “Over It.” Days prior to its release, the tracklist boasted plenty of soulful features, including the return of the illustrious OVO artist PartyNextDoor, and production overseen by the executive ATL prodigy LondonOnThaTrack, who also happens to be dating the singer.
Prior to listening, I personally expected the project to be somewhat distant from how most contemporary R&B projects have been composed in the last few years, with tracks very 808/Hi-hat dependent and sultry but subtle lyrics that are deeply appreciated by a mature fanbase but bemoaned by new listeners. Ever since the 2017 release of “CTRL” by TDE signed artist SZA, the standards of female R&B have been pushed to be more experimental than ever. Thus, I wanted Walker’s own, original story and for her to speak life into the songs on the album, as if they all represent her truth.
The project fans received, was what fans initially expected. It opens with the title track that creates a slow, but clear vibe with the sample bouncing off it’s own reverb; very reminiscent of 90s R&B which is a popular trend in the genre as of late. The next track “Body” does something interesting by making an original melody with a 90s vibe but mentions of romantic aspects in a sense that only young adults could actually resonate with. The sudden change in tone immediately surprised me and probably everyone else vibing at 2am in the morning while thinking about their ex. The album goes on to stand strong with it’s own story and brilliant production that compliments Summer’s artistic style almost perfectly. One highlight needed to be talked about is the duet “Just Might.” For the PND fans, his verse does deliver, but not as expected. The track explores the honesty behind the promiscuity in the dating scene and the lack of faith that follows. Walker talks of her draining faith in love due to the many experiences she’s had and her frustration with the energy a relationship takes. Surprisingly, PND fills the portion of the duet as the compassionate one, not having a problem with promiscuity because of its prominence in dating culture.
In conclusion, “Over It” does come off at first as being your typical R&B album with its use of 90s references and samples. The production techniques may only initially bore you, but Summer Walker does redeem herself in her lyricism and melodic take on the spectrum of intimacy we know as romantic love. This album never failed to surprise me after the title track with the mature exploration done within the modern relationship issues mentioned and common emotional issues that lie inside gender stereotypes. Whether it’s convincing yourself you’re over it when you’re not or wondering if the relationship will last, Summer Walker has it covered and listening to this project will ground you like no other.