Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

6LACK showcases an established, embracing confidence all of his own on Since I Have A Lover

"Since I Have A Lover"

Release date: 24 March 2023
6LACK - Since I Have A Lover - Album Artwork
24 March 2023, 00:00 Written by Elliot Burr

Three Grammy nominations, a guest spot with Elton John, a BLACKPINK inspired viral moment – it’s easy to misremember the scorching past few years for 6LACK.

Not that the Atlanta artist has forgotten his own output, as he plants personal growth and healing into his first album since 2017.

“Cold Feet” immediately fumbles in the dark, with motifs disrupted by voicemails pulling 6LACK this way and that for new music. It must be par for the course, appearing as a featured artist more than any other between 2019 and 2020. But even following a platinum selling debut, or offering features to the likes of Offset or J. Cole on acclaimed East Atlanta Love Letter, 6LACK somewhat goes under the radar when not stealing the limelight for himself. Luckily, we now see his personality and artistry finally grounded in this rich, stacked collection.

Heartbreak may have governed past tracks, but there’s more lessons learned in what’s presented here. “Inwood Hill Park” introduces relationship tiffs, pondering to his lover “don’t you know you change the patterns in my sleep?,” but for better or worse, it’s worked out. Merged sultry verses with partner Quiñ on “Wunna Dem” sees an update since 6LACK’s cartoonish Pepé Le Pew impression on their aforementioned viral hit “Mushroom Chocolate,” who humorously claimed to be “Cupid with the shits / Had to act, swift arrow on my hip.” The title track is described by its penner as “an exhale, it’s relief, it’s trust, it’s happiness, it’s surreal,” while that loving candour, often inexplicable, is wickedly conveyed on penultimate track’s candlelit ballad: “I’ve been calling you to testify my love.”

Lulling R&B guitar plucking can often dip into background music territory, like the lumbering drum beat of “Fatal Attraction” (albeit with a cheeky C-3PO allusion, perhaps to his autotune-tinged voice), or the swelling hazy atmospherics of “B4L.” But the instrument works wonders to emphasise 6LACK at his most introspective on “Testify,” alongside an upfront presence and diction that gets cranked by studio trickery. A fittingly braggadocious performance on “Preach” gets accented by ascending backing vocals, horns and pads. “Tit for Tat” has satisfying staccato takes which scream out for a longer track length. Standout “Temporary” flirts with two-step, and its home run of a Don Toliver chorus firmly acknowledges that, on this album, “most girls are temporary / this time it’s not.”

Even when 6LACK is on cruise control, the emotional hour drives by, hiding thoughtful romanticisms and nuanced musical flashes that are a delight to discover. In something like 6LACK’s own words, it makes for something far more grown up than before.

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