Review

Willow gives a middle finger to racist, sexist gatekeepers on pop-punk album “lately I feel EVERYTHING”

On her fourth studio album “lately I feel EVERYTHING”, Willow (Smith) came to represent women of colour that have been held back in a white-male dominated genre.

At first glance the album’s title is instantly relatable, especially considering what we’ve been through this past year-and-a-half. It’s also a clear indication of what music you can expect. There’s a definite departure from the experimental alt-R&B sound Willow is known for, to something more pop-punk, rooted in an almost emo lyrical existentialism.

This pop-punk sound kicks into high gear on the album’s lead single “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” featuring Blink-182’s Travis Barker. Willow even got good ol’ sk8r girl herself, Avril Lavigne, to feature on “G R O W”, a song that’s all about taking the time and allowing yourself to evolve as a person, even if you have doubts.

Also on the album is a song she does with American rock band Cherry Glazer called “Breakout”. The fast tempo of the song together with the distorted voices and guitar makes this my personal favourite.

It’s 2021 and the lack of women of colour shredding guitars or even just being in the punk genre is pretty palpable and I hope that Willow’s gender and genre defying album motivates more ladies to get involved.