I Used To Know Her–Pt.2–H.E.R. Review


Maggie Brown, Writer

There’s nobody like H.E.R. on the R&B scene, and the anti-pop queen has come to claim her throne. She keeps her persona anonymous, an answer to the media’s constant invasion of artists’ privacy. The “secret identity” allows her to focus on her music; with I Used To Know Her–Pt. 2, it’s evident that all that hard work has paid off.

H.E.R. glides in and out of different styles with the ease of someone who has been in the music industry for a lot longer. The album opens with the classic, breezy groove of “Carried Away”. H.E.R. cites her careful indifference; “Fronting, I don’t wanna be loved anyway,” she sings. The sultry “Take You There” is the musical equivalent of a little black dress, filled with warped piano samples and moody harmonies. Fans of Rihanna and SZA will enjoy H.E.R.’s knack for atmospheric slow jams.

Jumping back into Top 40 territory, H.E.R. sings about the love she just can’t quit in “Hard Place”. “You’ve been testing my faith and my patience,” she croons over a beach-ready beat. Her music is all about timeless struggles, which is most evident on “Lord is Coming”, her EP’s crowning jewel. The spoken-word opening spirals into a bluesy battle cry, exploding into a gospel-inspired chorus. “Right and wrong is something everybody knows,” H.E.R. announces. It’s a bold statement for an industry that often looks the other way—but H.E.R. is most certainly not here to play it safe.