Music Reviews

”Simply Perfect” – Album Review: Summer Waker – Still Over It

Daria Paterek

‘Over It’, Summer Walker’s first album, is one of the best R&B albums of the 2010s, if not of all time. Soulful, intimate, and beautifully produced, ‘Over It’ left a massive mark on me, and I still stream it regularly. Commercially, ‘Over It’ was a massive success, accumulating 154 million U.S. streams upon debut, the largest figure ever for a female R&B artist’s album. Summer Walker definitely had a big legacy to live up to with her second album ‘Still Over It’, and Daria explores whether ‘Still Over It’ lived up to its expectations.

Summer Walker announced her sophomore album, ‘Still Over It’ on October 4th. In the build-up to the release, the album had some very clever PR, including Summer placing the album in a glass display across numerous cities in the US and encouraging fans to smash the glass to get a listen. On October 22nd, a fan smashed the glass and guaranteed themselves a first listen. 

Upon initially hearing Ex For A Reason, the lead single for Summer’s sophomore album, I was disappointed. The song did not feel like a Summer Walker song at all. It neither had the depth of tracks such as CPR or Anna Mae or the masterful production of songs such as Come Thru or Like It. The excessive autotune (which was too extreme compared to the autotune in Over It, which was reasonable and enhanced Summer’s natural voice) felt almost satirical of her style. I was thrown aback by how up-tempo the song was, which was not what I expected from Summer. 

The summer-y vibe of the song was not what I was expecting to indulge in during the cold autumnal nights. However, upon more listening, the Ex For A Reason grew on me. Summer Walker has never released such a high tempo song, and I grew to enjoy the new, high tempo, experimental vibe of Ex For A Reason. 

Toxic, according to Summer’s Instagram stories, was the song she intended to be the lead single. And I believe that it would have been a better lead single, as it perfectly summarises what the album is about; her toxic relationship with London on Da Track, who she described as a ‘’ghetto baby daddy from hell’’

The real highlight of the album for me was the features, which were perfectly selected. The album’s lead track, Bitter, ends with narration by Cardi B, who encourages Summer to ‘’say why you, you know, decided to be with your [man]/ Even though you have problems, put that drama in your music,’’ while reminding her to proceed with grace – ‘’If you are pregnant and everything, say it in a beautiful way in your music.’’ The introductory track sets the tone and theme of the album, as Summer alludes to being harassed over her relationship with London.

Her smooth, silky vocals and expert production make the album a perfect antidote for a listener who needs to get into their feelings

In No Love, SZA’s voice beautifully compliments Summer’s, as they both bond over their unsuccessful romantic pursuits. Unloyal is a perfect mix of Ari Lennox’s and Summer’s styles with gorgeous instrumentals that truly highlight their voices; it is no surprise that this is one of Summer’s favourite songs on the album. Dat Right There with Pharrell Williams is fun, upbeat, and high tempo, demonstrating Summer Walker’s versatility, which was not fully exhibited in her first album. Screwin is the longest song on the album, at five and a half minutes, and is reflective, slow, and sensual.

But Summer doesn’t disappoint on her own. Broken Promises, Insane, and Circus showcase her beautiful vocals, clever lyricism, and personality, which made her the star she is now. Her smooth, silky vocals and expert production make the album a perfect antidote for a listener who needs to get into their feelings.

The album ends with Ciara narrating Ciara’s Player, as the album ends on a hopeful note. ‘’Jesus, I need you. I don’t fully understand everything right now, but I know you have great plans for me. I’m hurting, but there’s purpose in my pain.’’

Overall, ‘Still Over It’ is an improvement upon ‘Over It’, while retaining the elements that made ‘Over It’ so magical and heartfelt. Most notably, the majority of songs on ‘Still Over It’ are over 3 minutes long, allowing emotional songs such as Broken Promises to feel fully fleshed out. The collaborations, once again, are perfect for their retrospective tracks. Summer Walker proves with this powerful album, once again, that she is an R&B powerhouse. 

Daria Paterek

Featured image courtesy of Jan Kop?iva via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @summerwalker via No changes made to these images.

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