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Summer Walker's 'Over It' Is Worthy Of The Buzz

Summer Walker's debut album, <em>Over It</em>, is a sensation.
Courtesy of the artist
Summer Walker's debut album, Over It, is a sensation.

Summer Walker's debut album, Over It, came out earlier this month — and it's already broken records. The 23-year-old's record became the most-streamed album by a woman R&B artist ever, breaking the record Beyoncé set with 2016's Lemonade. What's all the buzz about? Music critic Briana Younger of The New Yorkerwent in on the album's standout songs to unpack her appeal.

On "Girls Need Love"

She definitely nods to older, more traditional R&B, but it's super of-this-moment in terms of the aesthetic — kind of soft and smooth. It feels informed by hip-hop in terms of the language and in terms of the style., but it's also very R&B in the way she's singing — she's singing low and she's singing soulfully.

I think the biggest thing about this song was this idea that women can't ever really express their sexual desires, of how they want it and when they want it. It's not necessarily a new thought: obviously sexual autonomy is a very large part of feminist thought. But the language with which she did it in ... I think people were just drawn to it. It felt like a moment in that, you know, she was critiquing society while also making this fire R&B.

On "Drunk Dialing ... LODT"

So the whole setup of "Drunk Dialing," in the first half of the song, is her just trying to talk herself out of drunk-dialing an ex, which is obviously a distinctly millennial sentiment. And then we flash back to her covering Lenny Williams, who's a super old-school R&B singer. I think that just speaks to her R&B sensibilities and the way she bridges old with new.

On "I'll Kill You"

"I'll Kill You" comes towards the end of the album, and it's the ultimate bait and switch. She spent parts of the album dealing with these volatile emotions and rebuffing men ... but we get to "I'll Kill You" and it's a love song about how she has become overwhelmed by her love for this person and wants to be the last person who loves him — very possessive, but very honest. I think the thing we love most about Summer Walker is her frankness.

I think what makes Summer so special is that there are through-lines to hip-hop, there are through-lines to pop, there's kind of something for everyone's sensibilities. If you just like slow-burning, sexy R&B? She has something for you. But if you like the more upbeat, super polished poppy sounds? She has something for you as well.

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Briana Younger
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