The Arrival of Giveon: The Revival of Soul Music

The newest music to slow dance (or cry) to

This Herculean-looking artist has taken the soul/R&B landscape by storm. After experiencing the Drake Effect by featuring in “Chicago Freestyle”, Giveon looks like he is here to stay. If you like artist like Frank Ocean, H.E.R., and Daniel Caesar, then this artist is for you. By creating a sort of old school sound while harping on love, Giveon gives off a 90’s vibe. It feels like one of those voices that you hear on your parent’s old record player — but he’s in his 20’s. Consider this the revival of old school soul; neo-soul music.

Love Takes Time

Take Time is a powerful love ballad album adhering to the needs, wants, desires, and insecurities of Giveon’s lover. The roller coaster of emotions bared in this album capture the nuance of love and how complicated true human interaction is.

In the first track, “THE BEACH”, he errs his concern for his love interest that they still prioritize him despite being from such a dangerous area. This is also emphasized by the feature from the artists mother in the following line:

“I don’t know if it was fireworks or gunshots but the birds is in the air”

Thereby, emphasizing the danger surrounding their home. This can be a little misguiding as someone from the hood should know that fireworks echo and gunshots don’t — but I’ll give it a pass.

While concerned, there is a hint of appreciation for his lover. They could leave him anytime they wanted, and he would understand. After all, the love interest’s mother has warned them about the “562” area code, yet they seem to keep coming back. As a result, Giveon is in admiration of their commitment and puts their love on a “pedestal”- meaning worthy of an award.

Unfortunately, the album only gets more depressing from this point onward.

While the desire to live in a perfect world, unbothered by outside factors, as emphasized on “WORLD WE CREATED”, this is staunchly negated by the situation unfolding in “FAVORITE MISTAKE”. A new love interest has captivated the artist attention in this song. It seems to snuck up on him, it hit hard and fast — as love does sometimes. It makes it more heartbreaking that it comes immediately proceeding a song attempting to ease the insecurities of the former lover, stating the following:

“When I leave I’m not lookin’ for a replacement for what I got I need you to trust and believe when I say this Ain’t nothing or nobody that’s ever gonna break us.”

Here, is the beginning of the end of the relationship mentioned in “THE BEACH”. Despite knowing it’s wrong, the artist continues in their advances of infidelity. Officially the relationship begins to fracture in “THIS AIN’T LOVE”. Giveon knows he is hard to trust, but that blow can’t be cushioned by saying “I love you” which is listed as a reason this ain’t love. Fast forward a little in time. A year has passed since the end of their relationship. The “HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY” is a revisitation of the former relationship. It hurts, and probably always will. There’s always the question, what if we stayed together, would it have ended differently? Regardless, there is beauty in the pain. In an interview with BET Her, Giveon says, “…with this song, I tried to make pain sound beautiful.”

In the Genius lyric breakdown of “LIKE I WANT YOU” — arguably the artist most popular solo single — Giveon admits that this song wasn’t about a situation he had experienced. It was about a friend’s experience and point of view. Regardless, the emotion in telling the story of not trying to show the affection still present after a breakup is still there. The last song, “VANISH”, is the ultimate introspection and evaluation of his former relationship. He blames the person for saying and doing things that hurt him. But later realizes that what tore them down was his hypocrisy in their relationship. Will they ever make it work?

His strong vocal ability reminds me of a church choir. I felt if I heard his singing on a Sunday morning, I just know it was time to clean the house. This kind of music in the modern era is what will classify as Neo-Soul music and redefine an old genre. Perhaps, even our parents would like this music! If this EP was any indication, we should continue to expect excellence from Giveon.

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