Even as a seasoned summer walker fan, I can still confidently say that this album caught me by surprise, for a number of reasons. After her first mixtape titled ‘Last Days of Summer’ landed following a series of phenomenal singles (real ones know about Session 32) in 2017, I felt like I already knew who Summer was. A big part of me still does believe that who she really is as an artist, is slightly off centre from what ‘Over It’ gives us. The completely bare productions juxtaposed against her beautifully gritty vocals were, and are what we all love her for. But as her relationship with renowned producer London ‘on the track’ Holmes began, his influence on her sound was apparent to any frequent listener ,particularly following the release of both ‘Playing Games’ & ‘Stretch It Out’ ft. A Boogie Wid A Hoodie. Even though I loved the songs, playing games more so than the latter, I was worried about the trajectory of the album as a whole.
From the second the beat comes in on the project’s second song ‘Body’, I’m completely enamoured. Not only by the songs themselves but by the overall familiar feeling London manages to lace throughout this body of work so effortlessly. I wouldn’t be able to get through this article without talking about the fact that we got the legend that is Usher Raymond on a sample of his own song. I swear when ‘Come Thru’ started and I recognised the melody, I genuinely let out a small scream because no waaaayyy. This feature was done simply to remind us who the real King of Rhythm & Blues is while these kids fight for his scraps. Although not my favourite (I still can’t decide) or in my opinion the best (Body or Tonight) song on the album, it is by far the cleverest & it will undoubtably be the most popular. There just isn’t a subpar track on this project. The production sits right in the heart of authentic R&B executed with the skill of a seasoned trap producer. London gives summer the complete room to touch people with the lyrical content & raw vocal gymnastics without shying away from the experimental and bouncy beats he’s well known for. And the sampling is so painfully seamless, I’m mind-blown.
There are a few more notable aspects worth mentioning, the features being one of them as Summer goes toe to toe with the likes of PARTYNEXTDOOR, Jhené Aiko and her label mate 6LACK on some really gorgeous vocal performances. Each of these duets feel weighted in their own separate way as Summer shows off just how much talent she has as a songwriter as well a vocalist. Particularly on her more laid back songs like ‘Fun Girl’, where she talks about how men don’t consider women who behave like them as marriage material, ‘Off of You’, ‘Anna Mae’ and a personal favourite ‘Drunk Dialling…LODT’ (she didn’t have to do me like that on LODT). These lyrics are so relatable, it almost felt like a punch in the chest.
Being a black female artist making this type of music means that a lot of comparisons are being made between ‘Over It’ and other renowned female R&B albums namely Ari Lennox’s ‘Shea Butter Baby’ & SZA’s ‘CTRL’. As much as I love what summer has done here & more than believe it should receive it’s recognition alongside projects like these, I do feel this album lacked in cohesion and story telling compared to others. Although the mood and theme are both consistent, ‘Over It’ to me is more of a playlist of 18 phenomenal R&B songs rather than a body of work. However, Summer has more than earned a rightful mention amongst those responsible for the rebirth of R&B in modern music. I’m taken on a journey through the anger, lust, confusion and just straight up longing that us heartbreak veterans are all too familiar with.
This album is raw, sonically so intelligent and has a repeatability factor that is second to none. To put it simply, I think it’s incredible. And if this is her just getting started? Sorry to these men.