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The key to fully understanding the position Summer Walker finds herself in on her new album Still Over It is to remember where she left off. Every story has a prologue, and for Summer, that would be “Nobody Else,” the vulnerable confession towards love that closed her debut album Over It. “I want this, I want this to work out so bad / God, I feel it in my chest at night,” she begs on the track. “I want this, I want this, yeah, yeah / Will never fall out of love with you.” As we all know now, Summer’s wishes went unfulfilled, and while this step into love eventually tore her heart apart, it also gave the world what shaped up to be her magnum opus with Still Over It.
Cardi B says it best at the end of “Bitter.” “Put that drama in your music,” the rapper advises Summer while telling her to not “let b*tches… feel like they have a one-up by destroying your moment by telling your business to the world.” For better or for worse, the best way to regain control of a narrative for a successful musician like Summer is to make that best music of your life, and that’s what is present on Still Over It. Through the project’s 20 songs, Summer issues responses to women that interfered with her relationship, onlookers who questioned her decisions without knowing the entire story, and the very man who caused her heartbreak and destroyed the love she hoped would last a lifetime.
On Still Over It, Summer excellently reinforces that despite the whirlpool of controversy, turmoil, and toxicity that her relationship drowned in, her true desire was a love that was offertory rather than transactional. “All I wanted was for you to stay / It’s the bare minimum for me,” she bellows on “Reciprocate.” “I don’t wanna throw it all away / It’s a good thing, it’s a good thing.” It’s this standard reciprocation, which she asks of her partner and fails to receive, that drives her into a pit of sadness and regret. “You should know my mind by now / And it don’t seem to matter how many times I try,” Summer sings on “You Don’t Know Me” in disenchanted spirits. “But I cry, I say it nice / Yell it out loud, write it down, I’m tired.” It’s tracks like these where Summer uses tender production and her best songwriting to cast her pain through a projector to the world, one so big that it allows all the necessary details of her story to exist and roam free for listeners to digest.
As we progress further and further into Summer’s sophomore album, she’s forced to loosen her resistance towards letting go of a love that once made her melt. Through records like “Insane,” “Constant Bullsh*t,” and “Unloyal” with Ari Lennox, Summer almost jumps out of the moving car that is her relationship, but the unknown dangers that await her once she takes that dive delay this long-overdue exit. The man in question is London On Da Track, the father of her first child, and on “Switch A N***a Out” she uses sheer honesty to explain why she stayed beside him much longer than she should have. “’Cause I don’t want nobody, nobody else but you,” she sings, referencing her Over It closer. “And I used to be on my replacin’ sh*t / I would switch a n**** out so damn quick / If he ain’t gettin’ with my sh*t / But it just ain’t like that with you.”
Just like it would for anyone else, Summer reaches her breaking point through the last third of the album. After failed moments to fully shut the door on “Closure,” “Toxic,” and “Screwin,” Summer finally issues the grand closing for a love that she realizes was truly never meant to be. It brings forth some of the most painful and heartbreaking lyrics on the album. “Cause my heart is breakin,’” she bellows on “Broken Promises.” “I’ve been mistaken / You’re not the man I thought you were / And they tried to warn me.” Another example arrives on “Session 33.” “’Cause a house is not a home when no one’s there,” she notes. “So alone, no one’s there / Should I move on since no one’s here? / You know what you got is good, that’s why you refuse to let me walk out your life.”
Calling Still Over It Summer’s true villain story might be taking things a bit too far. Even her most ruthless moments, like dragging London and his mother on “4th Baby Mama,” seem well-deserved for a woman who was left to spend her “whole f*cking pregnancy alone.” In a perfect world, the happiness Summer exhibited to close Over It was still supposed to be alive and well on her sophomore project. A true love story and a child to raise with this forever partner should’ve been the narrative for her second album. Things were supposed to be different, but to her disappointment, that was not the case. Summer has grown as a singer, songwriter, and overall artist set on bringing her vision to life. However, until she receives the love she truly deserves, Summer Walker will still be over it.
Still Over It is out now via LVRN/Interscope. Get it here.