It’s been three years since Yuna released her sophomore album Nocturnal. It’s safe to say that since then, Yuna has spent some time living and loving, to the extent that much of her new album Chapters sounds like reflection, growth and heartbreak.
Of the album, Yuna told Elle.com, “It’s really about different chapters in my life that I went through the past two years. It covers all these tiny, tiny things about my life, whether it’s based on relationships or my relationship with my mom, and self love and self confidence.”
Listening to the album, that’s what we hear.
Chapters was preceded by the first singles “Places to Go” and “Crush.” For “Places to Go”, Yuna linked up with the legendary producer DJ Premier for a track that feels like summertime, cool vibes, and b-girl circles making you want to sing and do your best pose. As of late, DJ Premier has done a great job at introducing audiences to newcomers like Yuna shown with singles like his Kendra Morris remix “Concrete Waves”. For “Crush”, Yuna collaborated with ATL crooner Usher for an adorable song of what the title alludes to, a crush. Listening to this song, it instantly puts you in the mindset of a less romantic “My Boo”.
The mellow vibes of the album are traded for a more sensual sound with “Best Love”. Yuna speaks of changing the scope of how she feels about someone–getting those butterflies that you never expected. Yuna sings, “We can build something that will last. No more playing games, I know we’ve known each other a long time. I never thought I’d make you mine.” For “Used To”, Yuna and Jhene Aiko make for a great and surprising duet– have you ever realized how much their voices sound alike?
“In Time”, Yuna paints a very visual story of how and why she started singing, rejection and more. The mantra that her mother says, “It takes time, baby” is the relatable hook that all of us have experienced with our parents.
Chapters is a triumphant return to the scene for Yuna. This is the project I wish I created when I was going through a heartbreak if I could sing… better than I do now (I actually have vocals). The album paints so many real and raw emotions, and during the time where much of music conversations span Beyonce’s bash session Lemonade and Kanye West’s weird Ellen rant, this is the opposite. As selfish as this is to say, I almost wish more heartbreak on Yuna if that means she’ll create another masterpiece.