Chloe x Halle lay it all out on the table on “Ungodly Hour”
Chloe X Halle sophomore release “Ungodly Hour” was highly anticipated all over my timeline for the past week in a half. Seen as a spot of light in the very trying and dark times that our country is currently facing, I was interested to see the outcome of the initial excitement and quick rise to #1 on the release charts.
The quick synopsis is that this album is a lot of fun. Chloe x Halle don’t try to play to the coming of age narrative that we see in several other releases from young artists. Instead, when you listen to “Ungodly Hour” you hear a sincere letter of love to the mistakes and the pure joy that you experience as a young adult.
I personally loved the interludes and short tracks that the duo created throughout the album that seemed to stick around for just the right amount of time before leading into the next track. In fact, the whole album starts with a quick haunting intro that not only shows off both Chloe and Halle’s vocal abilities, but easily blends into the main message of the album “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.”
The following track “Forgive Me” easily eases us into this obviously winding journey before us. The full R&B sound is obvious from the jump. Chloe x Halle to an incredible job at allowing both of their talents shine without one overpowering the other, a difficult song and dance. This song is a perfect example of the echoes of the other sister’s voices merely coming in to assist the vocals, adding depth instead of competition in the verses.
One of my favorite tracks on this release is the bouncy empowering anthem “Baby Girl.” The women bring a calm and reassuring voice to the battle that many women face when countering the male-dominated outside world. The lyrics of this song are subtly powerful, as the two recall low points of their own but never seem to sway away from the original message that this chaos is okay. The steady drum backbeat along with the strong and cascading crescendo vocals that lead us into the chorus also make this message easy to listen to.
Another standout track for me is “Busy Boy.” The song starts with a vintage raw vocal clip and leads into a defiant and layered danceable hit. The tenacious duet allows listeners to eagerly dive into a funk-driven track with a delicate message. This song is layered with strong low notes and delectable runs that guide you through a dangerous path. This song plays well with a track further into the album titled However, I don’t believe the song encourages others to perform salacious acts, I believe that it is a clear picture of the power of emotions, and the fact that they are not too prideful or afraid to acknowledge these situations.
This authenticity shines all over the album, from deeper cuts like the short-lived piano driven interlude “Overwhelmed” which deals with the feeling of the excessive weight of emotions, to the bittersweet spiritual song “Don’t Make It Harder On Me” that showcases the painful feeling when you feel when you cannot be with someone you love but understanding the importance of knowing what is right in the end.
The album ends with a beautiful ode to living for yourself. “ROYL” reminds listeners how important it is to show love to yourself and live for the moment. Overall, I believe that “Ungodly Hour” was a realistic cinematic view young love, mental health and female empowerment beautifully wrapped in a soulful bow.
Stream Ungodly Hour
Donate to BLM: https://bit.ly/2zzcdaU
Donate to the Black Trans Femmes In The Arts: https://bit.ly/30E3TS5