Raw, sexy, beautifully confident, dark and more captivatingly mature, than ever before. That’s how you can best describe sister duo and Parkwood Entertainment signees, Chloe x Halle’s sophomore album, Ungodly Hour. A truly incredible cohesive body of work over 13 tracks that is easily the duo’s best work to date. That like so many other R&B greats before them, is the true breakout record that will really push their talents even more to the mainstream. Thanks to how honest, authentic and intimate they are througout the album. That also shows how they are easily two of the most truly talented artists in the very burgeoning great R&B scene right now.
You can tell from the Intro, with its beautiful harmonies to go with their seamlessly beautifully great vocals. How truly ridiculously talented Chloe x Halle, really are. That perfectly segues into the albums third single, Forgive Me. A record with its very haunting lyrics and truly great vocals, as well as melodies about being completely unapologetic for who you are. Really sets up one of the main themes of the album. Which is, “Don’t ever ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.” That then perfectly segues into the very snap-beat heavy empowering girl anthem, Baby Girl. Which Chloe herself produced. Chloe actually having a hand in producing all, but five records on the album. That then goes into the very fun and playfully natured Scott Storch-produced hit single, Do It. A truly lighthearted very catchy ladies anthem that they also collaborated with noted songwriter, Victoria Monét on. Who co-wrote the song with them. That really lets Chloe x Halle show off their great vocals and amazing adlibs. To go with their beautiful harmonies they sing so seamlessly well together with each other.
The albums very catchy and expansive title track, produced by Disclosure. Is one of those very dreamy and ethereal groovy records that you can hear or see played at a club, while having a good time or even at a retail store while shopping. The bridge, chorus and the dreamy vocals, as well as beautifully dreamy harmonies on it from Chloe x Halle. So hypnotic, angelic and powerfully in line with one another. With the vulnerability they show on their very poetic songwriting that truly complements the catchy pulses and rhythms of the track. Lyrics such as, “I don’t have the time. To teach you how to love all over again. And let me ask you this. Are you givin’ all that you could give? Once you get it right. Baby, just know I want you here, come here. Right here.” Showing that inviting vulnerability to love and reclaiming your self-worth, power and independence. That really expands the theme of the album. As one in which you show maturity as you grow and emerge into adulthood. Like Chloe x Halle show throughout the album. Growing into the very sexy and confident young women they’re not only musically as artists, but as actual mature young women as well. That’s most showed on the title track.
The range of the album throughout is something to truly marvel at and admire as well. Whether it be the truly catchy and jazzy early 2000’s vibes on the very catchy, Busy Boy or the purely femme fatale energy of ghosts, murder and the afterlife. On the very hauntingly playful and fun fvckboy anthem, Tipsy. That’s yet another very catchy record with its pounding drums and infectious production from Chloe. In which with their perfectly seamless together angelic harmonies and confidently grown and haunting lyrics of, “I’ll take you to the afterlife. Boy, if you ain’t actin’ right. Key your car and crash the lights. Hit your head, I’m not polite. Then I’ll hunt down your family. Let ‘em know ‘bout the tragedy. Who did it? A mystery. But you know that it, it was me, yeah.” Screams classy, yet hauntingly sexy, intimidating and don’t fvck with my love vibes.
Lead single, Catch Up. That is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It and has the lone feature on the album, Swae Lee. Also the only mishap in an otherwise perfect album that falls just barely short of being a classic album. The next track, Overwhelmed. A truly heavenly masterpiece with its perfectly rich harmonization’s and absolutely gorgeous piano backdrop. That is really just an interlude, but still one of the duo’s most authentically raw songs to date. That somewhat makes up for the underwhelming, previously mentioned record, but you just wish was longer than only an interlude. One of those records that can really hit home with how much so many of us are either facing or have gone through this year too. That perfectly segues into another standout that is easily one of the best tracks on the album, Lonely. A very uplifting record produced by Storch and co-produced by Wallis Lane and Avedon. That is bout how, even when you don’t feel like it. It is okay to be, “lonely.” The lyrics hitting home even more for so many of us that have been quarantined at home by ourselves or with very few people, if even any. Throughout most of the year.
As we reach the end of the album. The next two tracks could easily be argued as the top two tracks on the album in any particular order. Starting with the very sassy sounding Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman-produced, Don’t Make It Harder on Me. The strings and keys, as well as bassline on the production the perfect compliment to Chloe and Halle’s very beautiful harmonies and absolutely heavenly vocals. That sounds so nostalgic and beautiful with a 70’s Motown era sound. But updated to today’s times. That they make work so well and is one of those tracks that’s so great it can virtually move most to tears. That then perfectly seguing into the very beautifully rich, Wonder What She Thinks of Me. In which Chloe and Halle actually humanize instead of villainize, “the other woman.” Like so many always do it and flip it into an actual beautifully sweet song. With their truly beautiful melodies, harmonies and lyrics on this one.
The album closes out with the very unexpected grunge like, ROYL. Produced by Jahaan Sweet and Boi-1da. It is an acronym for, the rest of your life. That sees Chloe and Halle going away from the normal angelic harmonies we expect from the duo. As they go for a more rap/sing sounding effort. That has more of those anthemic background singing and youthful energy we heard a lot of on their debut album, The Kids Are Alright. That they surprisingly make actually work out perfectly to still fit the album and not feel like it’s out of place.
Overall, Ungodly Hour, is a truly brilliant and beautiful album. That from the writing to the production, beautiful vocals, harmonies and arrangements. Is almost virtually flawless and has a flare that shows how truly great and unique of a sound that both, Chloe and Halle have. That perfectly compliments one another so well and truly sets them apart from most of their peers. With how vocally great they are. Whether it be Halle’s more light and angelically ethereal voice or Chloe’s more edgy, sultry and deep voice. They are truly one of a kind talent. That is shown throughout the album. Which looks like it may end up becoming their magna opus.