Album Review: ‘I Used to Know Her: Part 2’ is melancholic and introspective

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Gabi Wilson, also known as R&B artist H.E.R, recently released eight tracks on her album ‘I Used To Know Her: Part 2.’ (Photo courtesy of HotNewHipHop)

Francesca Keeler

Three months after dropping “I Used To Know Her: The Prelude,” H.E.R (Having Everything Revealed), returns with a sequel to her six-track project: “I Used To Know Her: Part 2.”

The new album came out on Nov. 2 and includes eight tracks without features, allowing the R&B singer to explore new musical directions.

Tracks that standout in the album include the guitar-driven “Hard Place” and the closing track, “Lord Is Coming,” which opens with a spoken-word poem that seamlessly transitions into a sultry and somewhat eerie song. 

“I Used To Know Her: Part 2” is an overall melancholic and introspective EP.  It allows listeners some insight into the mind of the artist. The collaboration with Bryson Tiller on “The Prelude” resulted in some traction on the charts, but hopefully this new EP will expose H.E.R to more listeners, considering this album does not feature other artists. 

Originally presented as an anonymous artist, H.E.R came onto the scene in 2016 with her EP “H.E.R. Vol 1,” which contained downtempo, vulnerable songs. In 2017, she released “H.E.R., Vol 2.” 

H.E.R is now also known as her real name, Gabi Wilson.

In an article from Blavity, H.E.R. said, “The mystery is a metaphor for who I am, or who I was at the time of creating the project… I feel like oftentimes we don’t like to be open as people about our emotions or things that we are going through. At the time [of recording], I was very closed off except for when I was writing or when I was in the studio.”

She further explained how her anonymity kept the focus on the music, instead of who was creating it.

“I am a voice for women who feel like they’re alone in these situations. This project came from an emotion, and that’s what I want it to be about – not what I look like or who I’m with, but the raw emotion and support for women,” said H.E.R in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“I Used To Know Her: Part 2” further showcases H.E.R.’s talent for impeccably blending rich instrumentals with strong vocals, and further redefines this new era of contemporary R&B. While H.E.R. claimed that her anonymity was a way for listeners to focus on her music, this stellar project shows that even after revealing herself, the focus on her art has only become clearer.

I Used To Know Her: Part 2″ is now streaming on all platforms and definitely deserves a listen.