Grammy-nominated songwriter Stacy Barthe is gearing up to releasing her long awaited debut album “BEcoming” on July 10 via Motown Records and it`s executively-produced by John Legend and Malay and also features production work from the likes of Hit-Boy, DJ Camper and Classmatez.
The album serves as like autobiography as it finds Barthe singing her heart out about her own personal struggles such as dealing with body issues, addiction, suicide (“I was at one point, you know, considering suicide and didn’t want to be here…I was really low”) and self love.
Read my review after the jump.
She kicks off the album with “My Suicide Note” a very deep and extremely personal testimony about being at the edge of committing suicide, she displays so much rawness as she sings over a string driven production that adds so much emotion to the subject, “Oh man I`m going through it, a little voice in my head says do it, it`s cold out here….” and adds “It would be easy if I wasn`t here”
“In My Head” is a groovy mid-tempo number that talks about escaping from reality but still struggling break away from the little voices in her head: “I`m just as scared of the world as a insect to a human being, I think everyone is out to get me, it`s like I`m losing it. The stories I make up in my head, make more sense then what is going on out here. ”
“Sleep To Dream” is a beautiful track that sees her singing about how her point of the view of the world has change since she was a kid, mainly because the world we live nowadays is so cluttered with so much negativity that it becomes our norm and we forget to look beyond that and sees some of the beauty that world has to offer “When the young girl is older, sometimes their eyes become blind to all the beauty of the world….”.
She follows it up with “Eyes Wide Shut” which features a solid smooth drum and guitar driven production that provides a great foundation for her to pour her heart out as she sings about day-dreaming/removing herself from her reality to find peace because her personal struggles drag her ever lower then she is “I keep my eyes wide shut cause the world is just too scary to face sometimes I just don`t know.”
“Here I Am” sees her turning to alcohol to deal with her personal set-backs, “This ain`t no pity party, I will cry if I want to, I got all dressed up and nobody showed up, so I`ll dance by myself, drink by myself. Pass out in my clothes on the floor, on my own alone. Said I won`t do it again, here I am right back in the dark again, right back where I started…..Watch me drink my pain away from the rim of this bottle” she sings over a smooth groovy production that totally captures the emotion of the song.
“Me Versus Me” is a piano driven number that pulled on my heartstrings as it totally captures my reality of always standing in my own way, battling through my demons which are in the image of me”It`s still a uphill battle”. Knowing your self worth and knowing that you`re worthy of real love, which firstly starts with loving yourself and fighting through all those battles to come into your own fully.
“Find It (Transition)” is a very uplifting number that speaks of breaking out of a pattern of life *depression* that is serving you no good, because sometimes we just become too comfortable with the norm and don`t take any steps to forwards a better life, “Misery stop chasing me down, I can`t figure out why I`m still around, I got to find a new way to live” she sings over a piano-guitar driven production.
On “Live For Today” she is joined by Golden Globe winner Common, together they managed to compliment each other as they talk about the importance of appreciating the present. Over a sick bassline and some few jazzy electric piano chords by Benny Cassette, “You don’t ever know when it’s your time, trying to predict the future’s just a waste of time” she sings so beautifully.
“Flawed Beautiful Creatures” serves as a song about self love and casting no judgement on others as we are all flawed and should celebrate each other instead of breaking each other down: “Sometimes we’re insecure,we’re fragile sometimes, we laugh at each other to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes we lie, sometimes we say things that we really don’t mean but in the moment, seem like the thing to do. We’re all flawed beautiful people…” She sings over a dreamy production with a soft guitar and a heavy-hitting bass kick.
“Hey You There” is such a beautiful song about reflecting over her growth of self-acceptance and standing in her truth, “Have you ever had a burden so heavy on your chest, while you`re crying inside, you smile for everybody else. Don`t you ever get tired of being un-inspired, when you put out so much and get nothing in return, you gotta ask yourself what are you fighting for? face yourself in the mirror and say hey you there, is me you`re looking for.”
“Walk On Water” is another uplifting number with a guitar driven production, which talks about always overcoming anything that comes our ways no matter how hard it is because we can`t control anything that happens to us but have faith that we will over come it.
“Born To Belong (Interlude)” is a very spacey-airy track with a dreamy bassline, it talks about knowing that you will be loved by someone worthy of you. “War IV Love” sees Barthe passionately singing over a production that features elements such as tribal drums and handclaps which all creates a great foundation for her to sings about being a prisoner of emotion enraptured in the trenches of love. “Take me hostage ,don’t let me go, I’m not up for ransom. Keep me in your captive, captivity, I will never let you go, you gotta love me on the grave. I’d wait a long time for you, I’d suffer war if it meant victory was our love.”
She ushers in a stunning remake of Anita Baker’s classic song “Angel,” which she firstly originally recorded as a duet interlude on John Legend’s last album Love In The Future, now we get the full version and they out did themselves with this one, their unique vocals intertwined so beautifully.
“You Wonder Why?” has that kind of Sade esque vibe to it, it finds her letting go of a relationship that is not going anywhere has her beau, doesn`t want to take responsibility of his role in the relationship “Biting my tongue, waiting for words you never say, I can`t take the silence, so I`m never apologizing, even when you`re in the wrong, you never in the wrong. ”
“In the Meantime” is a groovy mid-tempo number with a retro production which provides a solid foundation for her to address a break down of relationship on a inmate level “When you laying the in bed with your back turned towards me, when I try to touch you, feels like you don`t want me to.” She realizes that she in a love less situation because it`s clear that her beau would rather be with other girls.
She closes the stunning set with “Enough Is Enough” which is a smooth slow-tempo number with haunting elements within the production which actually help captures the emotion she expresses about a death of relationship and there`s no moving forward with it, “Where do we go from this point, how do you expect to move on, wasn`t it like bullets when you shot me down, you shot me dead too…”
Strong album right here that will surely touch alot of people`s lives all over the world as she speaks on subjects that many of us deal with daily. Her writing is paints realistic images of her life and her vocals are so uniquely stunning throughout and the production is truly amazing, everything flowed together beautifully.
Stream below and make sure to support the album once it drops next Friday.
1. My Suicide Note (Intro)
2. In My Head
3. Sleep To Dream
4. Eyes Wide Shut
5. Here I Am
6. Me Versus Me
7. Find It (Transition)
8. Live For Today ft. Common
9. Flawed Beautiful Creatures
10. Hey You There
11. Walk On Water
12. Born To Belong (Interlude)
13. War IV Love
14. Angel ft. John Legend
15. You Wonder Why?
16. In the Meantime
17. Enough Is Enough…