Willow Smith hasn’t dropped a “hit” song since she was 10. While she has all the talent in the world, given her parents, and background, she hasn’t seemed to put all of it together. Her last mega-hit “Whip My Hair,” was every bit as cutesy as you would expect from a ten-year-old recording art. However, In her latest release, Willow, she shows her full transformation into an alternative R&B songstress. She also dabbles a bit into some rock themes similar to the late Kurt Cobain. Take Solange, SZA, XXXtentacion, Kurt Cobain, and Paramore with a spice garden, and you get Willow’s new sound.
At approximately 22 minutes long, her third album feels like a preview for future projects, and well-realized. Co-written and produced by Willow and her boyfriend Tyler Cole, it’s a smooth blend of psychedelic folk-rock and dreamy R&B built curated around suburb guitar strums and jagged riffs. It’s darker than other releases but more natural. It’s an ode to her overall growth as an entertainer and a woman.
She is growing into her womanhood and Willow showcases it fully. It’s officially a Willow’s show, with vocals giving the music its balmy and sometimes naturalist charm. At times, she can be called a “teenage sage”. With only one feature from her brother Jaden Smith, Willow delivers us her own tale. Authenticity, lyrical genius, originality, vivid imagery, and another Smith is delivering excellent work. This time it’s not her family but only Willow. This dream-like, calm, and shamanistic R&B album is both slight and well-realized. Proof that Willow’s talented enough to stand apart from her dynastic family and we should be on the lookout for future releases.