Written By: Andrew Sedo
As the title would suggest, Kacy Hill’s full-length debut is an exploration into womanhood and feminine sexuality. She uses a familiar and growing format to try her hand at explaining an incredibly intricate subject. The genre of downtempo, bounding, bass-heavy pop is increasingly oversaturated, with the likes of Banks, Lapsley, and Halsey already commanding center stage. What differentiates Hill from her peers? It seems to be a shift from bouncier, more danceable hip-hop production. Like A Woman leaves listeners in a difficult position. While her voice is certainly stirring at times, we are left with an introspective record lacking in both meaningful insight and redeeming superficial pop qualities.
The titular opener “Like A Woman” sees Hill grappling with the drama of her past love experiences and her repeated returns to the well of romantic desire. She sings, almost incredulously, “Now you caught me / Remind me of my beating heart / I’ll be your Venus, if you were Mars / What makes you make me feel like a woman?” Offering no unique opinion on the issues she sees as both a problem and positive aspect of endeavors of the heart. Overall, Like A Woman fails to clear a path through Hill’s more innovative contemporaries. “Hard to Love” and “Say You’re Wrong” sound like Florence lost her way in the corporate machine.
However, there are certainly bright spots that show Hill’s lovely potential. Look no further than the beautifully subdued “Cruel” which has her falsetto floating over more pulsating production. Likewise, “Keep Me Sane” has Hill displaying her vocal dexterity, again over a reduced, balladesque backing track. “Static” is the record’s most movable and moving track, which still falls short of eliciting much more than a saddened two-step. The choral lyrics are repeatable and relatable but fall short of any meaningful depth. Unfortunately, the album’s strongest tracks are grouped near the beginning leaving listeners to slog through the 8 remainders without much feeling.
In her true debut, Hill is understandably finding her identity in a crowded field. She remains definitively off the podium and trapped in a limbo between vapid poppy danceability and actually revelatory intuition. While that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of, listeners familiar with her G.O.O.D. Music pedigree must have expected a much more experimental sound. Like A Woman fails to capture the feeling and provocation fitting of its purported subject matter. Hill remains a talented newcomer, and with a little help from her friends, can hopefully walk the knife’s edge between esoteric lyrics, real thoughtfulness, and enjoyability. However, her debut show perhaps it’s best to choose one, and do it well.