H.E.R. puts on the ultimate show in her debut album “Back Of My Mind.”
HONORABLE MENTION. FIND A WAY
By no means do I think that “Find A Way” is the best track on this album. However, I do know that it is the most commercial-ready, club-ready, and energetic track on the album. H.E.R. hopped on a Quay Global Beat and killed s**t (2021 has been amazing to me).
How were two 23-year-olds able to make such a wise/timeless-sounding track like “Trauma?”
Seriously, “Trauma” with H.E.R. and Cordae sounds like some s**t that a veteran R&B singer and a veteran rapper would come together to make. Not only does Cordae hit us with flawless flows and thoughtful lyrics, but H.E.R. comes across like a grown woman that has learned a lot from three divorces in the song. Overall, between the smooth melodies, clever raps, and smooth instrumental, this song sounds like it was made in 1998.
I’m a hip-hop head, so you know I had to put this song on my top 5 list for this album.
4. COME THRU
If folks didn’t hate Chris Brown so much, I could see this song winning a Grammy.
H.E.R. and Chris Brown sound both fearless and vulnerable in “Come Through.” While the latter reaches notes that are higher than my cholesterol levels, the former sounds like she got into the booth immediately after having a good cry. I guess when you’re trying to convince someone to come over to your house at night you gotta pull out all of the tricks.
3. I CAN HAVE IT ALL
“I Can Have It All” is H.E.R.’s version of an acceptance speech.
If you are a fan of H.E.R., you are going to feel “I Can Have It All” in your soul. Backed by a flipped version of Phil Collins’ classic “Feel It In The Air” beat, the Vallejo singer lets the world know what motivates her, about her major wins, and about her impressive come-up. What I love about the song is that H.E.R. does away with her innocent ways and comes across as someone that knows she’s the s**t and cannot be flushed.
“Slide” is a sly, uptempo jam about making love ’til the morning, partying, and candy paint cars (Unique combination, right?).
While H.E.R. still sings with her signature somber tone in “Slide” — despite the song’s upbeat vibes — I do feel like she has a slight pep to her step on the hook.
YG is featured on “Slide,” and in my opinion, he fits the song magnificently! Not only is his unapologetic style perfect for the song’s chill, west coast-inspired instrumental, but I also love his clever/carefree bars, too.
“Slide” sounds so f**king good in clubs.
“Damage” falls in line with H.E.R.’s best work. The song boasts unbelievable melodies, a jazzy R&B instrumental, and lyrics that will encourage you to let your lover know that you aren’t chopped liver.
I absolutely love how H.E.R. shifts gears both vocally and emotionally throughout “Damage.” You can tell that she’s going through the motions, doing her best to figure out why she feels the way she feels. As someone that is imperfect, I feel the song is astonishing to listen to.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. WE MADE IT (5/5)
2. BACK OF MY MIND (4/5)
3. TRAUMA (5/5)
4. DAMAGE (5/5)
5. FIND A WAY (5/5)
6. BLOODY WATERS (5/5)
7. CLOSER TO ME (5/5)
8. COME THROUGH (5/5)
9. MY OWN (4/5)
10. LUCKY (4/5)
11. CHEAT CODE (5/5)
12. MEAN IT (4/5)
13. PARADISE (3/5)
14. PROCESS (4/5)
15. HOLD ON (5/5)
16. DON’T (5/5)
17. EXHAUSTED (4/5)
18. HARD TO LOVE (5/5)
19. FOR ANYONE (5/5)
20. I CAN HAVE IT ALL (5/5)
21. SLIDE (5/5)
This album better win a Grammy. The top 5 list that you see up top was so f**king hard to put together.
I’ve said it 100 times already, and I’ll say it again: H.E.R. will one day go down as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Right when I started having doubts about how high I feel about her, she decided to release this borderline masterpiece of an album called Back Of My Mind.
Do you know what I love about this album? H.E.R. shows that she’s more than just a soul singer on it. Throughout Back Of My Mind, not only does she hit us with some soul gems, but she also hits us with trap-R&B bangers like “Find A Way,” club-ready R&B bangers like “Slide,” powerful R&B bangers like “I Can Have It All,” and legit slow jams like “Come Through.” All in all, H.E.R. nails it when it comes to showing off her versatility.
There was a time in which people rolled their eyes at heartbreak songs. These days, they are sort of hard to find. Well, if you are someone that loves heartbreak songs, H.E.R. gives you plenty of those in Back Of My Mind. Throughout the album, she tackles messy relationships, relationships with exes, and everything in-between. I love how she tackles each topic in a way that almost feels like she’s temporarily letting us into her fragile world free of charge.
I don’t quite love that Back Of My Mind features 21 tracks, but I do understand why the album is that long (When you are as talented as H.E.R., It will take more than 30 minutes to get all of your s**t off). With that being said, I feel like H.E.R. doesn’t waste a single track on the project (Not even the one with DJ Khaled).
Let me find out that H.E.R. brings out the best version of rappers! Back On My Mind features some pretty good guest appearances from Lil Baby, Cordae, Ty Dolla $ign, Chris Brown, and more. If I were to guess, H.E.R. is someone that knows how to put folks in positions to suceed.
Back Of My Mind is such a diverse R&B album. While I can see true H.E.R. fans calling the album ‘commercial,’ I think it lets the world know the many different hats that she is capable of wearing (No need to put her in boxes, folks).
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.