Summer Walker’s music is her diary and her therapy. She’s aired out her toxic relationships and struggle love on albums Over It and Still Over It, and now she’s officially over it all and chooses peace – and herself – on her latest release, CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP.
“I’m really loving life right now, enjoying this new outlook on life, loving the new me, loving my kids and not letting life pass me by anymore,” she told Apple Music. This new and improved Summer Walker is heard throughout this new EP.
Embracing the soft life concept of stress-free living and loving, the project begins with “To Summer, From Cole (Audio Hug),” an audio love letter from J. Cole. He gives props and shares words of encouragement to Walker who plays more of a supporting role. After that lovefest, Summer still has some reads left in her on “Hardlife” and “Mind Yo Mouth.”
“It’s the audacity / What you have asked of me / You say you want me soft / But give me a hard life,” she sings on “Hardlife” about the divide between some Black women and Black men. Summer goes on to say the quiet part out loud to end the song: “Me and my / Women who look like me / Me and my friends / My momma, my sister / Elders and aunties / All of my kin...Me and all my Black queens...When will we get what we need?”
On “Mind Yo Mouth,” she challenges the notion that she shouldn't challenge her man to be and do better. “They say, ‘Hush girl, mind yo mouth / You don’t want to harm his ego’ / No / They say, ‘Hush girl, mind yo mouth / You don’t want to turn him off’,” she softly sings on the chorus. She makes it clear that she ain’t the one, though, when she follows that with, “Well, he might have to deal with it” and lays out all the reasons why.
Walker’s spiciness is balanced by the sweetness of “Pull Up” where she takes listeners for a sensual ride and vocally veers into Erykah Badu territory. She circles back to Badu on “New Type” as she looks to level up the men she deals with. Both Summer and Childish Gambino cleverly reference calling “Tyrone,” and he even namechecks the neo-soul superstar during his verse as he flirts with her.
The heart of the EP is heard on “Finding Peace.” Summer finds her way after “losing people, finding peace.” She’s done dealing with other people’s drama and focuses on herself. “If I gotta choose between you or me / It’s me,” she sings, her charity turned into clarity.
CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP ends with “Agayu’s Revelation,” and we hear directly from Summer who literally speaks her peace. She candidly shares her journey to this space, reflects on her relationships and give more insight into who she is and how she’s grown.- Advertisement -
The second release in her CLEAR series of live recordings, the pared-down production and soulful instrumentals give Summer’s vocals room to breathe and shine. Her producers, which include Solange, Steve Lacy, Jay Versace, Jah Whittingham, Kelvin Wooten and J. Cole, to name a few, all understood the assignment.
We’ve noticed a shift in Summer’s recent output, namely her features with Ari Lennox on “Queen Space” and Ciara on “Better Thangs,” where she rises about the petty nonsense to focus on what and who really matters. She may still be a work in progress – like we all are – but CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP is Summer Walker evolved.- Advertisement - - Advertisement -