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RELOAD IT! Chloe X Halle’s new album ‘Ungodly Hour’

Chloe x Halle sprinkled some much needed #BlackGirlMagic with their sophomore album, Ungodly Hour, exploring growth, sexuality, femininity and sisterhood, and is mainly self-produced and self-written by the duo.
Ungodly Hour Cover Art Image via Columbia Records

Chloe x Halle, the sophisticated R’n’B duo are signed to Parkwood and managed by Beyonce, so their 13-track album comes Beyonce approved. Chloe x Halle had previously released their hit single Do It last month, with sensual yet fierce visuals on YouTube which received bounds of praise and over 9 million views.

Chloe x Halle – Do It (Official Video)

Ungodly Hour is uplifting and refreshing but still faces the messiness of adulthood and represents growth for the girls. Their cover art sees them in black latex dresses with metallic angel wings, the opposing imagery reflects Chloe’s statement ahead of the album: “The world sees us as like perfect little angels and we want to show the different layers of us”. 

The angelic and almost religious motifs are carried into the first song, Intro, a hymn-like 30 second track about asking for forgiveness, followed by the similar yet bouncy, Forgive Me.

Baby Girl is a girl power anthem, with empowering lyrics encouraging girls to put themselves first and remember how amazing they are and Ungodly Hour is an expression of sexuality, with Chloe and Halle’s euphonies combined over its electric and groovy beats. 

Busy Boy is self explanatory and opens with tremulous blues, reminiscent of the 30s, that blend into elegant harmonies over intricate beats. Mike WiLL Made-It and Swae Lee feature on Catch Up, another playful yet empowering hit, first performed back in April for the BET COVID-19 Relief Effort Special

Chloe x Halle, Swae Lee Perform “Catch Up” for the BET COVID-19 Relief Effort Special

Overwhelmed is a sweet interlude, a break from the upbeat pace of the rest of the album. The pairs’ airy yet melodious vocals float over the grounding meaning of the song, a reminder that we are all sometimes overwhelmed by different pressures, but we are all human and it’s okay to have a moment to breathe.

Don’t Make It Harder On Me has to be my favourite, a nostalgic beat with undertones of 60s R’n’B and the emotional, choir-like melodies in the chorus that very vaguely remind me of the melody of Macy Grays, I Try, (but don’t quote me on that).

The laid back acoustic start of Wonder What She Thinks of Me makes the following inventive lyrics about being the other woman, mixed with hauntingly beautiful vocals exude femininity in a captivating manner. 

The final song, ROYL (Rest Of Your Life), is an upbeat and grungy ode to their debut album in 2018, The Kids Are Alright. The song is youthful, a bad bitch send off and a reminder to have fun with growing up, learning about yourself and your imperfections along the way.

The Kids Are Alright Image via Columbia Records

The diverse sounds in Ungodly Hour are a refreshing change to the traditional modern RnB/Soul albums we indulge in today. The beautifully-rendered harmonies elevate songs like Forgive Me and Lonely, and the flirtatious, high-spirited beats of Tipsy and Catch-Up represent Chloe X Halle’s perfectly universal musical range. 

Despite being pushed back in respect of the Black Lives Matter movement, I don’t think the project could’ve come at a better time. Chloe X Halle have served a projection of sisterhood, collectivity and femininity in the Black community, at a time when it is right now needed the most.

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