Album Review: Still Over It by Summer Walker

On her sophomore album Still Over It, Atlanta-native Summer Walker tells a compelling story of heartbreak and hope, across a soulful 20 song tracklist. Released on November 5th, the R&B singer’s project chronicles the breakdown of her two year long relationship with producer London on the track, giving listeners the opportunity to hear some of Summer's most intimate songs she’s released in her career.

On the opening track Bitter, Summer begins the project with a beautiful yet threatening background chorus: “Better stop playing with me.” The track addresses the rumor’s generated by London’s previous lover - and the mother of his child - which made headlines in early September of this year. The singer dismisses the comments confidently throughout the track, assertively defending her companion, “Just 'cause y'all got a past, that don't mean you got a future/This mine for life/No switchin' sides.” The song ends with a phone call from rapper Cardi B, encouraging Summer to take control of narratives surrounding her relationship and pregnancy with London, the track’s producer.

On Ex For A Reason, Summer reminds her partner that she isn’t a woman that tolerates disloyalty, bringing on City Girls’ member JT for the uptempo Pop-Rap effort. This track is followed by No Love, the highly anticipated collaboration with singer SZA. The two join together to fantasize on a life of lust and pleasure with their ex-lovers. Summer ends the song with a plea for clarity, “Tell me what's changed, is it my status? Is it my fame?”

From here on, the singer grieves the steady collapse of her relationship, expressing her disappointment and alienation in the tracks Throw It Away, Reciprocate and

You Don’t Know Me. The songs show a wide range of melodic sounds, from sensual R&B to an acoustic ballad. This continues into Circus, which’s whimsical production and metaphor-riddled lyrics describe the foolishness and testing nature of her connection with her lover. Summer compares the confusing situation to a circus show, saying “Got my heart doin' gymnastics/I never feel this magic/Your sheets pull me like magnets.” The tracks Insane, Constant B*****t and Switch A N***a Out describe even more of the complexities of this relationship, with Summer switching from states of disgust to mourning as she unravels her feelings in poetic form.

Summer also features Ari Lennox and Lil Durk on the tracks Unloyal and Toxic, respectively. On the former, Lennox joins Summer to cut-off dead ends in their fallen relationships, crooning over a sultry ensemble of jazz instrumentation. On Dat Right There and Screwin, Walker rediscovers the pleasure and confidence of sexuality, with the former being an uptempo Pop collaboration with producing duo The Neptunes, and the latter being an erotic experimental joint effort with singer Omarion. Broken Promises and Session 33 follow these, with the latter alluding to the singer’s hit Session 32. Summer expresses her realization that the potential she saw in her lover was never actualized, and likely was never there. This brings her theme full-circle, with the man she defended in the first track being removed from his pedestal and exposed.

4th Baby Mama and its accompanying prelude, courtesy of singer Sean Garrett, find the 25-year-old songstress expressing her final thoughts on London, sampling 2009 hit Liar by R&B group Profyle. Summer explicitly calls out London for his disloyalty, by saying “ Tellin' people that I'm your queen/But all you mean is just of R&B.” This track is Summer’s final words on the album, with her finally accepting the end of this 2-year relationship, after exploring a full range of emotions throughout this project. The final track of Still Over It is an impassioned prayer by fellow-Atlanta native singer Ciara, properly titled Ciara’s Prayer. The singer recites a heartfelt passage, a reference to the prayer she made prior to her successful relationship with NFL player Russsell Westbrook. This perfectly remedies the ills that Summer experiences, providing a hopeful closing to an emotionally intense body of work.

If any other evidence is needed to signify the intensity and heartfeltness captured within the 1 hour and 3 minute run of Still Over It, one may look to the album's jaw-dropping reception, projected to sell over 210,000 in its first week. This would make this project the 4th highest selling of 2021, as well as the highest selling R&B project since Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade. With this in mind, it's fair to say this is definitely a body of work worth listening to. And, crying to - so grab your tissues and enjoy.

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