Culture Pick | Summer’s sophomore success

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Jolencia Jones, Contributing Writer

Summer Walker takes listeners on a journey through her tumultuous relationship with her former partner, London on da Track, on her sophomore album “Still Over It.” The 20-track album details her toxic relationship, the new struggle of motherhood and the process of self-love. 

“Take this opportunity to learn from my mistakes. You don’t have to guess if something is love. Love is shown through actions. Stop making excuses for people who don’t show up for you. Don’t ignore the red flags. And don’t think you have to stay somewhere ’cause you can’t find better,” Walker said in the Apple Music description of her album. 

Lyrically the album is more cohesive than her previous album “Over It.” She also used less autotune compared to her last album, showcasing her vocals more this time around. 

The production contrast between the two albums is refreshing because although the album titles are similar, their themes are quite different. Walker continues the storyline of her relationship and lets listeners hear some of her innermost thoughts.

As the album begins, Walker goes through the phases of a breakup. 

On the opening track, “Bitter,” Walker expresses her frustration with the mothers of London’s other children. She defends her then-boyfriend against the drama, but as the album continues, she realizes the man she is defending is the exact person the other women said he was. The song ends with a narration by Cardi B, who leaves a voicemail to Walker telling her to focus on the music, not the drama. 

In the song “No Love,” she shares the idea of rekindling the relationship just for pleasure, but decides against it because she knows her worth. Later, she questions herself and the relationship, eventually questioning how her boyfriend could “Throw It Away.”  

Although she and her partner have been together for two years, she realizes he doesn’t know her. The toxic relationship is described as a “Circus” that is driving her “Insane.” 

As the album comes to an end, Walker starts to accept the breakup and stops being in denial about the horrible way he treated her. She stops defending his bad behavior and realizes the relationship was full of “Broken Promises.”

“I’ve been mistaken / You’re not the man I thought you were / And they tried to warn me,” she sings.

The standout track is “4th Baby Mama,” where Walker exposes it all. The title refers to her being the fourth woman to have a child with her ex.

The album’s storyline comes full circle. She opened the album complaining about the other women, but now she’s experiencing the same stress he gave them. 

Throughout the song, Walker questions London’s mom for how she raised him and for not saying anything to her son. Walker reveals that she spent her pregnancy alone and ends the song realizing that the love in the relationship wasn’t real. 

She closes the album with “Ciara’s Prayer.” Ciara begins to narrate a prayer she used to restore her faith in love after a previous breakup before she met her husband, Russell Wilson. 

Coincidentally, Ciara and Cardi B are each the fourth woman to have children with their partners. The concept to open and close the album with these women adds an interesting perspective.  

Since the album’s release, Walker has had the biggest female and R&B album debut on Apple Music. Pain makes art, and Walker placed her frustration into one of the most successful albums of the year. 

Questions? Email the Culture desk at culture@cw.ua.edu.