H.E.R. delivers a breathtaking follow-up to her I Used to Know Her EP.
ICONIC.MESMERISING.OUT OF THIS WORLD.
These are just a few of the phrases that I would use to describe H.E.R. Honestly after she dropped Part 1 to her EP I really beat myself up for just how slept on she is … (for those of you who don’t know ‘slept on’ is a slang term for someone being overlooked or not being given the recognition that they deserve, back to our regularly scheduled programme.) H.E.R stands for “Having Everything Revealed”, and she is almost like the black version of Sia. We know who she is but at the same time, we don’t really know who she is.
For anyone who listens to Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan and R&B in general then you’ll definitely love H.E.R’s music. Part 2 of her EP opens with ‘Carried Away’, a song that gives me definitive ’90s, Lauryn Hill vibe and when listening to H.E.R that’s something you’ll pick up on; in Part 1 the opening song ‘Lost Souls’ is a clear tribute to Lauryn Hills ‘ Lost One ‘ – this song open your eyes to everything that’s wrong with the world, especially struggles of our generation to keep up with what seems cool or fashionable. Moving on we go from ‘Carried Away’ to ‘Can’t Help Me’; which is a relaxing song that has a really nice acoustic guitar in the back definitely one to chill to- and by chill, I mean relaxing by yourself, not with anyone else! One of my personal favourites is ‘ I’m Not Okay’: this song just takes you into another world as it has an ethereal feel to it; the heavy piano and clean vocals of H.E.R make for a self-reflective song that could either make you cry or simply melt into the abyss that is H.E.R’s gentle yet unforgettable voice.
For all the Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande fans in the back, the next song ‘Take you there’ is a true ode to angelic harmonies and R&B; something that is on the rise in mainstream music with the steady rise of Ella Mai, SZA, Khalid and many other R&B artists. H.E.R’s voice skates effortlessly across the ethereal plane, that is the production elevating her vocals. I’m not going to lie this is definitely a baby making type of song and I not mad at that by any means I can appreciate meaningful music especially music that touches my… core. Jodeci, Brandy and Boyz 2 Men would be proud after listening to this because this song really evokes feelings of intimacy and we all need that sometimes don’t we? ‘Going Interlude’ is a sleek transition from the calm pace that the first four tracks set in place its, in my opinion, no preparation for the final three tracks which blew me away, will blow you away and are what I’m going to tell you about know.
Track 6 ‘Hard Place’ is a song that would have been Number 1 on billboard in 2000 and is quite frankly really refreshing to hear for all the students like myself that grew up in a house with Jojo constantly being played. It will make you feel really nostalgic and for all the Ed Sheeran in the back you’ll definitely catch a good vibe listening to this. Now we are going to get onto arguably the best song on the EP: ‘Fate’. I am a person that loves the sound of music in a large hall and this song definitely gave me that, whilst simultaneously bringing back Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’, and I have honestly not stopped listening to it. The track is almost a cry to “fate” and GOD to have mercy on H.E.R and the listener, and trust me when I say it’s a roller coaster of emotions that this song takes you through, before calming you down with a low piano outro. The final track ‘ The Lord is Coming’ is a message that needs to spread to the ENTIRE WORLD. H.E.R manages to encapsulate the chaotic nature of gun violence, the American dream, income inequality and the separation of the children from their families with a bold opening speech, which shook me to my core. The Amy Winehouse in H.E.R came out in full force when she started singing and it was at that point that I would forever stan this woman’s musical agility and ability,’bring us to the promised land’ she sings and honestly I can’t wait to get there if its anything like her voice and the song put together.
I Used to Know Her: Part 2 EP is available now via RCA Records.