Summer Walker: Still Over It Album Review
Summer Walker’s music has the emotional intensity of a Real Housewives reunion. Her songs are as shady as they are chaotic—and irresistibly entertaining. Yet beneath the drama are layers of vulnerability. Walker’s 2019 debut Over It positioned the 25-year-old singer as a star in the moody landscape of contemporary trap R&B. With her follow-up, Still Over It, she cements herself as one of the genre’s most relatable storytellers, with a keen ear for melodrama that eventually starts to become monotonous.
Still Over It charts a journey through a messy and complicated breakup. Walker wants you to know she’s singing about her ex-boyfriend and the father of her child, noted Atlanta producer London on da Track. London not only contributes production to half of the album; he’s also the subject of Walker’s lyrical anguish. Her sadness and insecurities aren’t theoretical, and her songwriting is most powerful when she’s descriptive about the depths of that agony: “How could you make me spend my whole fucking pregnancy alone?”
Walker and London aren’t the album’s only contributors, nor the only characters in its story. Opening track “Bitter” is a hazy stream of consciousness where Walker presumably addresses her social-media spats with the mothers of London’s other children (“So why you puttin’ on for The Shade Room and Insta?” she questions). The track ends with a voicemail from Cardi B, who advises Walker to “put that drama in your music.” Lead single “Ex for a Reason”—featuring City Girls’ JT and co-produced by Sean Garrett—shines with a sleek hook and bubbly production reminiscent of Garrett’s early-2000s hits. On the pop-infused “No Love,” Walker and SZA regret defending a man who isn’t worth it: “Tried to act like I wasn’t good enough in your eyes/Funny now that you callin’, that you ringin’ my line,” Walker sings.
The turbulent narrative feels true-to-life, but as the album stretches toward 20 tracks, Walker struggles to find new angles that are equally as compelling. On the Neptunes-produced “Dat Right There,” she re-emphasizes her sexual prowess and brags about stealing other women’s boyfriends, a boast that feels a little sour coming after so much heartbreak. And on the closing “Ciara’s Prayer,” the titular singer leads us in an earnest appeal to Jesus to send her a deserving partner: “I pray the next man in my life will be my husband/I pray he loves me, leads me, guides me,” she recites. It’s an appropriate closer for a breakup album but an awfully old-fashioned plea.
The best moments on Still Over It capture Walker’s soulfulness alongside her fury. Hers and Ari Lennox’s bluesy vocals pair with an alluring sax solo on “Unloyal,” one of the strongest R&B singles of the year. Another standout, “Screwin,” is a slow groove about toxic intimacy featuring Omarion, and “4th Baby Mama” shows just how searing Walker’s songwriting can get: “I wanna start with your mama, she should’ve whooped your ass,” she sneers, modulating her voice to deliver an unsparing critique. Walker understands her strengths as a storyteller, and on Still Over It, she’s at her most commanding when she sings for herself while evoking the pain of other women who’ve been hurt.
Buy: Rough Trade
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