Willow Smith’s newest album, The 1st, is the artists’ unique departure from the 2015 release, ARDIPITHECUS, that surrounds the listener with its warm, yet, haunting sound that describes some of Smiths realizations during their coming of age. Although this album seems forced at times, the overall listening experience is a great one, and listeners get to hear some of Willow Smith’s best vocals yet.
When first listening to the first half of this album, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the instrumentation paired with Smith’s voice. To me, it felt almost forced to hear a pop/alternative/R&B singer make such as a raw sounding album. However, after I gave the album a few more listens I really grew to like the new sound of Willow Smith. It’s grungy, it’s bright, and it shows incredible potential for any future projects.
This album is fairly consistent, but every now and then, it surprises its listeners with incredibly soft moments provided by tracks like “An Awkward Life of an Awkward Girl,” which are then juxtaposed it later tracks like “Human Leech,” and “Lonely road.” These stark contrasts really bring this album to life and set Willow Smith apart not only from their previous work but all pop and alternative artists as well.
There are a lot of good things happening with this album whether it’s the instrumentation or the lyrics. Even though tracks like “Boy” expose some of Willow’s more immature qualities due to vapid song lyrics, this album is a rewarding experience that allows its listeners to uncover deeper meanings in each track with every listen. Although it took me a few tries to really get into this record, I have to give credit where credit is due on this one and give The 1st a “Solid” rating.
My favorite songs on the album:
- Human Leech
- Lonely Road
- Hi’ ihi’ Interlude
What do you think of this departure from pop and R&B? Do you hope Willow Smith continues with this sound for a bit longer? Let me know.
Until next time,