Music

H.E.R. Returns To Form On Debut Album ‘Back of My Mind’

H.E.R. unveils Back of My Mind her debut album equipped with features from Ty Dolla $ign, Chris Brown, Lil Baby, YG and more.

H.E.R. has been at the forefront of the music industry for years, today she unleashes her debut album Back of My Mind after steadily becoming one of the modern faces of R&B. 

The singer/songwriter enlists a myriad of industry staples for the 21-track release including Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Baby, Cordae, Chris Brown, Yung Bleu, and YG. DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller also appear on the previously released single “I Can Have It All.”

Aside from the industry accolades, back in her mixtape days, it became apparent that H.E.R. understood how to create an introspective project. Back of My Mind is just that, but it takes things a step further as she explores her ideas on pillow talking, infatuation, heartache, and the emotional battles that happen internally once you fall in love with a partner. The robust album is what happens when the talent leans into live instrumentation whilst taking a closer look at her emotions that she presented on H.E.R. Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Aside from providing a more fleshed-out version of her artistry, the album’s production is also quite impressive. But this comes as no surprise as heavy-hitting drums and an emphasis on H.E.R.’s ability to play instruments such as the guitar have become a significant portion of  the sound she’s cultivated. Back Of My Mind is the newest full-length from the Oscar and Grammy winner since she revealed I Used To Know Her in 2019. 

Photo Credit: RCA

After a first-listen, we’ve decided that our favorite tracks are “Back Of My Mind,” “Bloody Waters,” “Closer To Me,” “Mean It,” and “Process.”

“Back of My Mind” is a return to H.E.R.’s distinct mixtape sound. The track is mostly lyrical, it relies on storytelling, but it also relies on the assistance Ty Dolla $ign provides with his exquisite vocals. 

“Bloody Waters” is a funky listen, within the first 30 seconds it’s apparent it’s a ‘70s-inspired track. It’s a new vibe for H.E.R., but it really works. Her vocals echo a bit throughout it, but the airiness of the song carries it and fleshes it out. 

“Closer To Me” is a beautiful tribute. It’s about lust, love and yearning to better yourself for the sake of a partnership. H.E.R. shines when she’s being vulnerable in her music, this is a surefire standout on the album. 

“Mean It” is a cut that allows the singer/songwriter space to reckon with sadness and grief. It’s a melancholy song, but it’s thorough. 

“Process” is arguably our favorite on the entire album. It’s the production, but it’s also how comfortably H.E.R. is throughout the track as she switches from singing to rapping. Honorable mentions: “My Own,” “Lucky,” and “Mean It.”

Even though H.E.R. is an industry favorite, Back of My Mind is another example as to why. It’s a cohesive release and it features her as a self-assured musician and artist. The confidence she displays throughout the album is admirable. Storytelling is her strong front, and the album makes that crystal clear. The compilation is a return to form for H.E.R. 

Stream Back Of My Mind below. 

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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