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Back of My Mind

H.E.R.

R&B - Released June 18, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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The two previous full-lengths from H.E.R. were well received, to say the least. Although they were welcomed with acclaim, high chart placements, a platinum certification (for the first one), and a slew of Grammy accolades (for both), H.E.R. has remained insistent that neither was her debut album, as each one compiled EPs and added bonus material. Presented as her true first LP, Back of My Mind plays out like an assemblage itself. It contains an EP worth of previously released material dating back almost two years, and there's enough content -- an amount exceeding that of each compilation -- to fill a compact disc to capacity. This begins with a triumphant exhalation in the form of "We Made It" and then slips into a dim and labyrinthine corridor of slow jams and ballads with the odd subtle switch-up. Along the way, there are more guests than necessary. While Ty Dolla $ign's street gospel support on the title song is a fine match, H.E.R. more often is too accommodating, most so on the Lil Baby meeting "Find a Way," where she drops de rigueur references to her bag, haters, and one of rap's most popular luxury cars. On a more discreet level, however, "Bloody Waters" -- a heady Kaytranada production tricked out with a delectable Thundercat bassline -- is a brilliant sequel of sorts to her Academy Award-winning "Fight for You," another career high point with shades of sociopolitical Marvin Gaye circa 1971 and 1972. A few other songs stick out from the surplus of confessionals, late-night yearnings, and conflicted discourse that drifts along over soft beds of gently strummed guitar and trap-styled boom-and-skitter. The platinum "Damage" transforms Herb Alpert's "Making Love in the Rain" (produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with background vocals from Janet Jackson) from an expression of rapturous release to one of seductive threat. "Cheat Code" is like a follow-up chapter to wistful sample source "The Sweetest Thing" (fronted and co-written by Lauryn Hill); the lilt in H.E.R.'s voice on the hook hits like an unexpected jolt of grief. "Closer to Me" flips an aspirational early 2000s deep cut (by the undervalued Goapele) into a love song yearning for intimate repairment. Like "Bloody Waters," these standouts nod to an inspiration while being unmistakably H.E.R. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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I Used To Know Her

H.E.R.

R&B - Released August 30, 2019 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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H.E.R.

H.E.R.

R&B - Released October 20, 2017 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Merciful omission of the Chris Brown-assisted "Focus" remix aside, this contains the entirety of Gabi Wilson's first three anonymously presented EPs -- H.E.R., Vol. 1, H.E.R., Vol. 2, and the oddly titled H.E.R., Vol 2: The B Sides -- originally issued during a 13-month period. Roughly similar in quality and makeup, each one of the short-form releases strongly emphasizes Wilson's specialization in vulnerable yet assured ballads and slow jams. On the surface, they verge on low-lit mood music, but deep listening reveals a little more sonic, melodic, and lyrical substance than the average set from Wilson's commercial R&B peers. As a listening experience, these 21 songs therefore are effective more in their original configurations than in this resequenced 72-minute clump. No matter how it's packaged or consumed, there's zero doubt that Wilson and her fellow writers and producers -- most prominently DJ Camper and Swagg R'celious, who take on over half of the co-production credits -- made a large quantity of subtly stimulating contemporary R&B within a short timeframe. Wilson, consistently understated, gracefully wraps her voice around each beat, whether it snakes with trap-style percussion or surges and stammers like a late-'90s Timbaland track stuck in honey. With only slight variations in her voice, she evokes states ranging from vexation to desire, and there's never any uncertainty in what is being put across. It all sounds like the work of a savvy veteran. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Back of My Mind

H.E.R.

R&B - Released June 18, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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H.E.R. Volume 1

H.E.R.

R&B - Released September 9, 2016 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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H.E.R. Volume 2

H.E.R.

R&B - Released June 16, 2017 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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H.E.R. Vol. 2 - The B Sides

H.E.R.

R&B - Released October 20, 2017 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Hold On

H.E.R.

R&B - Released October 24, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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I Can't Breathe

H.E.R.

R&B - Released June 19, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Comfortable

H.E.R.

R&B - Released February 5, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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My Song

H.E.R.

R&B - Released January 2, 2018 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Come Through

H.E.R.

R&B - Released April 23, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Find A Way

H.E.R.

R&B - Released September 17, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Do To Me

H.E.R.

R&B - Released July 8, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Come Through

H.E.R.

R&B - Released April 23, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Wrong Places (from Songland)

H.E.R.

R&B - Released April 26, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Change

H.E.R.

R&B - Released June 4, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Damage

H.E.R.

R&B - Released February 3, 2021 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Hold Us Together

H.E.R.

R&B - Released December 11, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records

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Slide (feat. Pop Smoke, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie & Chris Brown)

H.E.R.

R&B - Released January 17, 2020 | MBK Entertainment - RCA Records