Album

H.E.R. – I Used To Know Her (Album Review)

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H.E.R. decided to combine all of her major projects together for one big project called “I Used To Know H.E.R.” For those of you that have already played out her old projects, the good news is that there are a few new songs on this project like “21,” “Racks,” “Lord Is Coming,” and more that you may not have heard yet.


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TOP 5

 

5. CARRIED AWAY

“Carried Away” is wonderful! With the instrumental attached to it boasting this lively sound, H.E.R. gets a chance to remind you of the myriad of struggles she’s been going through in her love life the last couple of months.

In my opinion, H.E.R. sounds like she’s venting throughout “Carried Away,” but not necessarily in a bad way… Matter of fact, the song reminds me of one of those tunes a lonely singer that performs at a quiet local bar sings after Wednesday night bingo.

 

 

4. CAN’T HELP ME

“Can’t Help Me” features H.E.R’s best vocal performance on this project. On it, she loses herself in this guitar-heavy instrumental, trying her best to piece herself together after an unfortunate break-up. While her singing on the track is beyond amazing, I think it’s her lyrical content that will strike a chord with you, as she literally comes across like that one bitter woman you broke up with that always shows up on your ‘Someone viewed your profile’ list on Linkedin.

Listening to a singer whine over a feel-good instrumental is some of the saddest s**t you’ll ever hear in your life!

 

 

3. 21

Before the tender age of 22, H.E.R. accomplished so much in the music industry. In “21,” her latest single, she reflects on some of those accomplishments.

You know what I love about H.E.R.? She’s a helluva singer, but at the same time, she has this level of grit to her that is enjoyable to listen to as a major rap fan. In “21,” we get to hear both versions of the Vallejo native, as she sings angelically on the hook and raps ruggedly on her verses to the track. But in the end of the day, I think “21” is a winner because of how vulnerable it is lyrically.

Why does H.E.R. make 21 years old sound old as s**t on this song?

 

 

2. SOMETHING KEEPS PULLING ME BACK

“Something Keeps Pulling Me Back” is special! Maybe it’s special because it remixes one of my favorite songs of all time in “Pullin Me Back” by Chingy, or perhaps it’s special because it blends slow song vibes with uptempo vibes… Whatever the case may be, this joint will stick with you, especially if you are in one of those weird moods where you want to go out but you feel heartbroken.

 

 

1. COULD’VE BEEN

“Could’ve Been” is smooth, soulful, and the definition of heartbreak music. On it, H.E.R. and Bryson Tiller go back and forth about the potential their sour relationship could’ve had if they tried from the start.

Both H.E.R. and Bryson Tiller sound pretty numb vocally on “Could’ve Been,” literally coming across like they are mourning someone that died. However, I f**k with the track for its relatability, as it gives me flashbacks of literally every break-up I’ve been involved in from the past.


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. LOST SOULS (4/5)

2. FATE (4/5)

3. CARRIED AWAY (4.5/5)

4. GOING (FULL) (3.5/5)

5. BE ON MY WAY (FULL) (4/5)

6. CAN’T HELP ME (4.5/5)

7. SOMETHING KEEPS PULLING ME BACK (4.5/5)

8. FEEL A WAY (3/5)

9. 21 (4.5/5)

10. RACKS (4/5)

11. I’M NOT OK (4/5)

12. AGAINST ME (3.5/5)

13. COULD’VE BEEN (5/5)

14. GOOD TO ME (3.5/5)

15. TAKE YOU THERE (4/5)

16. AS I AM (4/5)

17. HARD PLACE (4.5/5)

18. UNINVITED – LIVE (4/5)

19. LORD IS COMING (4/5)


OVERALL RATING

(B)

 

H.E.R. has an unchained mind that I am very envious of. Whether it’s the topic of love, heartbreak or oppression, the 22-year old approaches each with the same level of passion. In “I Used To Know H.E.R.,” her most important project to-date, you get a chance to hear H.E.R. dabble in all of the topics I listed above, and as expected, she delivers some pretty amazing music in the process.

I probably like H.E.R.’s writing more than I like her singing. Don’t get me wrong, I think she can hold a note with the best of them, but g**dammit, her lyrics are so f**king good! From start to finish on “I Used To Know H.E.R.,” H.E.R. draws you in with these emotional lyrics that really encourages you to tap into your feelings as much as you can. Additionally, she has a way of painting a picture of her current state of affairs, indirectly getting you to feel her pain.  For someone who just became old enough to drink alcohol, the way she pieces her words together is impressive!

One of the aspects people will sleep on is the production you get on this album. Throughout “I Used To Know H.E.R.,” listeners are blessed with cold, uptempo, organic, and old school instrumentals. Personally, I love how H.E.R. attacks each of them, relying on a little bit of flair, plenty of skills, and strong lyrical content. 

Ironically, an album called “I Used To Know H.E.R.” boasts music so good, you want to know more about the artist that made it. Unfortunately, we probably won’t get to, cause H.E.R. moves silenter than Batman. Then again, much like Batman, what may make her intriguing is the fact that you only get a chance to know who she is by the things she does in the booth. Well, if that’s the case, we should be looking forward to projects from the California singer for years to come.   

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