FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2015|
Posted by: Kirsten Spruch
After hinting at the date of December 11th on social media, 15 year old singer Willow Smith pulled a Beyonce and released a surprise album called Ardipithecus. She wrote and produced almost all of the songs...a statement of which many people are skeptical. But let's be real, this is a teenager with the best resources and mentors, so I believe it.
It would be interesting to go behind the scenes and see how this record was made. It's unpredictable, bordering on experimental pop. These songs don't sound like they were written by someone else with Willow Smith in mind; they're truly from a free-spirited 15 year old's mind. Everything almost sounds improvised -- or like poetry written beforehand and then later put to a beat. She keeps this stream of consciousness flowing throughout the entire record and it doesn't get boring.
Even though the album is on the more alternative side, there are still a lot of great catchy tracks if you're more of a pop enthusiast like me. Tracks like "Star" (feat Jabs), "Wait a Minute" and "Waves of Nature" all have catchy hooks and strong grooves that will make you want to dance. The music itself is simple with a percussive flare, mostly consisting of a synth, drums and a guitar and/or bass. Willow Smith has a lot of Sia moments vocally in almost every song. On some tracks, specifically "dRuGz" and "Natives of the Windy Forest," the angsty teen even emulates old school Nelly Furtado.
Willow Smith's voice is dynamic, elastic and straight out blunt at times. But it works. She preaches life lessons in a lot of the songs, like in the opening track she confidently sings "Classification and organization is ruining the hearts of our generation." In "Not So Different (feat. Jabs)" she teaches us that, well, maybe we're not so different from each other. In "IDK" she admits that she doesn't know what the future holds "We'll never know but that's the greatest part," locking in the idea that she's truly a free spirit.
People seem to not take her seriously due to age and where she comes from, but it's working to her advantage. You can hear she's not afraid to let go and do whatever the f*** she wants. I actually hope that her getting older doesn't cripple her crazy lyrics. Right now, she's not overthinking her words to please listeners. She's doing it for herself and she's doing it well.