If I pick up one summer album of 2017, that’s Sevyn Streeter’s first full album after her previous 2 EPs, “Girl Disrupted”. Especially the first half of the album with 13 songs is the art of simplism. Each song has very simple melodies and sound structure but they are sweetly catchy enough to remember. Those melodies are refreshing like fresh summer. They give me breath even with the busy urban schedule. They make me feel like listening on the white sand beach under the clear blue sky in Florida, Sevyn’s home state. Laid back but the sound isn’t country. It’s sophisticated urban with the new style of southern comfort. Magical.
A good example is “Present Situation”. The album’s second song consists with only simple patterned turbo keyboard, and urban boost beats, and Sevyn’s light pop, sometimes mysterious vocal. That’s it. Same simple mid-tempo melodies are repeated over and over. The minimal sound has a lot of spaces. The song is compact, quite unbelievable that the song is actually longer than 3 minutes (perfectly 4 minutes). But “Present Situation” succeeds to be impressive and addictive. Being simple isn’t always the best for songs, but it is with this song. The theory is inherited to “Anything U Want”, based on Sevyn’s stretched vocal and harmonium sounds playing simple yet refreshing melodies. “Ol Skool” again has a lot of spaces with the mellow old-school R&B tone. The background sound is much simpler than “Present Situation”. Probably I can play those chords by one finger on the keyboard, but the lightly melancholic and fuzzy sound creates seductively mysterious mood not sure which time frame the song expresses sensual morning or dreamy night.
The album itself is orthodox R&B. Some of the sounds “Girl Disrupted” uses is actually a little outdated but successfully restored as Sevyn’s brand new sounds.
So what does the “Girl Disrupted” album make special?
The answer is simple. Good melodies. Melodies are always important on any type of songs because that creates the music’s flow and vibe. Also, melodies are the base to support music including vocal and instrumentals. The melodies of “Girl Disrupted” create the flow and vibe that don’t resemble with any other artists though there are some samples. Sevyn and “Girl Disrupted” album proved that the original good melodies always win. Also, this is a good example that simpleness can even make impressive melodies. Comparing with her last two EPs, Sevyn made a lot of evolution and musically mature with “Girl Disrupted”.
Sevyn has a clear voice. Not overly emotional like many of R&B singers but perfectly matches with her music. It’s favorable that she successfully challenged a variety of singing style depending on the songs. Her sulky voice on “Ol Skool” is a good hit.
Another notable point about “Girl Disrupted” is the album cover. Musically, the cover perfectly expresses the music of this album on point. Old (vintage-ish leather jacket) and new (white panties), simple but impressive, an evolution from her previous EPs, and fresh. Visually, the photo is seriously sexy. This stunning album cover is to be remembered.
Thing is always, however, not perfect. “Girl Disrupted” is trapped in the second half dullness like many of R&B albums, particularly after eighth song, “Been a Minute”. Basically, songs aren’t bad even the mood is opposite with the first half. The second half is darker. Because the first half is so refreshing, the gap is too big and caused dullness. If “Been a Minute” and the following “Translation” was switched, the rest of second half could make an easy solution by being much tighter. This is a disappointing point especially because the song orders of the first half and the last song choice is perfect. It would also be better if the songs of the second half had better hooks like the first half.
OVERALL POINTS: 83/100
- Songs: ★★★★+1/4
- Originality: ★★★★+1/2
- Thrills: ★★★★+1/4
- Song orders: ★★★
- Vocal: ★★★★+1/2
- Background: ★★★★+1/2
- Production: ★★★★
- Strong songs: “Present Situation”, “My Love For You”, “Anything U Want”, “Ol Skool”, “Before I Do”
EXTRA (NOT COUNTED TOWARD THE OVERALL POINTS)
- Title: A
- Album cover: A+🔥🔥
SEVYN STREETER, GIRL DISRUPTED