H.E.R: “H.E.R Vol 2 + B Sides” Album Review

Written By: Brandon Basile 

Instagram: @RestlessSoul13 Twitter: @RestlessSol13 Blog: brandonbasile.wordpress.com

Love Never Happens Overnight

Originality: (5.0 / 5)
Vocals/Flow: (5.0 / 5)
Lyrics: (4.0 / 5)
Production: (5.0 / 5)
Average: (4.8 / 5)

Whether you see it as entrances and exits or positives and negatives, life is always moving towards something one way or another. Sometimes we wear masks as we move on about our ways. Be it for self-preservation, convenience, or simply to build intrigue, we all have our reasons for wanting to be perceived as this or that. In today’s information saturated world culture there are so many masks that people wear that true vulnerability and transparency is sought after in life and definitely art.

The female R&B enigma, H.E.R has been a favorite on the R&B charts since signing with RCA and releasing her first EP H.E.R. Vol.1 in September 2016.  H.E.R. Vol. 2 was released in June 2017, but the songstress has been adamant about maintaining anonymity of her identity as she would prefer to only be represented by her music. H.E.R., which is an ironic acronym meaning Having Everything Revealed, could be taken as a symbol of heroic femininity but the 20 year old artist otherwise known as Gabi Wilson has not only gotten stamps of approval from R&B artists, such as Rihanna, Bryson Tiller, and Usher as well as mentoring from Alicia Keys.  A child prodigy, she plays multiple instruments and has been signed to RCA since age 14.  H.E.R. most recently released H.E.R. Vol. 2 + B-Sides which is a compilation of songs from both volumes plus new songs and singles. If you haven’t heard of H.E.R. yet then you must be too busy listening to Tyler The Creator.

 H.E.R.Vol. 2 + B-Sides is a deep dive into emotion as H.E.R.’s voice moves from tender textures of Sade or sultry as Alicia Keys all while spitting flows as rhythmic as Drake.  The +B-Sides LP even features her cover of Drake’s “Jungle”, which brought H.E.R. Vol. 1 much attention, as well as her other R&B chart topping singles such “Losing”, “Focus”, and “Every Single Way”. 

These are intimate modern R&B cuts for lingering moments not the typical vulgar stuff for sweating in clubs.  H.E.R.’s music is romantic with loving longing on songs like “U”’s chorus saying  “It could be U-S / There’s so many letters / But its only U / Only U,” but still speaks openly on the sadness of relationships in “Free” as she sings, “You don’t ever say forever laying next to me / But nights like this I wish I never said that I was free”.  But love still feels real on the honey smooth duet between her and Daniel Caesar “Best Part”.  H.E.R. Vol. 2 + B- Sides is a savory collection of more of the same goodness of that H.E.R. has been ushering to us since her first EP. You may feel some familiarity with this album, but be sure to dedicate a few songs to that special person in your life because yeah it gets down like that.