Campbell Hamai| Reporter
The 61st Annual Grammy for Best R&B Album was awarded to singer and musician H.E.R.’s “H.E.R.” The artist is fairly new and is bringing attention and fans to the re-emerging mystery R&B sector, known only by the acronym for Having Everything Revealed.
The Grammy awarded album “H.E.R.” is a combination album, including songs from “H.E.R. vol 1 EP”, “H.E.R. vol 2 EP” and additional songs. The tracklist is as follows: “Losing,” “Avenue,” “Let Me In,” “Lights On,” “Say It Again,” “Wait For It,” “Facts,” “Focus,” “U,” “Every Kind of Way,” “Best Part” [ft. Daniel Cesar], “Changes,” “Jungle,” “Free,” “Rather Be,” “2,” “Hopes Up,” “Still Down,” “Wait For It,” “Pigment,” “Gone Away,” “I Won’t” and “Focus” [Remix] [ft Chris Brown, DJ Envy].
Most artists when they hide their identity-employing hazy fog, fake hair covering their faces, silhouetted performances-explain their actions as a way to help their audiences focus more on the music and lyrics themselves. While noble in intent, often times this air of mystery tends to get lost when paired with energetic songs that contrast too vividly.
H.E.R. employs the faceless performance style similarly saying, “I want the people to hear the music for what it is, and not have any judgments or make any assumptions” and provides a soundtrack dripping with the essence and earnestness of old school R&B. Album “H.E.R.” is slow and soulfully dragging, encouraging listeners to take a breath and relate to emotions that she willingly, anonymously, dives into headfirst.
H.E.R.’s songs are very nearly sonic diaries touching thoughts, emotions and personal touches being transferred through “a marriage of the mood between Drake at his Drakiest on Take Care, Teyana Taylor’s slept on VII and
Kehlani’s more sinister Cloud 9.”
Grammy-winning album “H.E.R.” explores, majorly, the insecurities and desires
one may feel with a romantic partner. Just as the singer grew tired of power games in “Losing”, H.E.R. confessed to wanting to feel and see her partner as they enjoyed each other.
Throughout the album, audiences can fill themselves in the anonymity H.E.R. has provided while listening to chilly, insecure blues thaw into confident, sultry warmth.
Even as fans and critics alike search to confirm H.E.R.’s identity as Gabi Wilson,
a singer who saw her first big break at the age of 10, the music shared in the Grammy winning “H.E.R.” proves the preoccupation needs no face if it can stand on its own.
H.E.R.’s private-public musings become all the more universal as her anonymity allows people to picture their own faces on the silhouette gracing her album cover.