6LACK: "Since I Have A Lover" - Review
Five years after the release of his sophomore album, 2018's East Atlanta Letter, 6LACK has finally returned with a brand new album and mindset! Released Friday (Mar. 24), his third studio album, Since I Have A Lover ditches the usual melancholic, seemingly dark energy and instead trades it in for more acoustic, lighter selections that emphasize joy, maturation, love, and growth. Over the 19 songs, 6LACK utilizes vulnerability, pain, and internal/external evolution to showcase his newfound peace and stability that has transformed him into the man, father, and lover he is today. Running for approximately an hour, SIHAL is about true renewal and progression despite being flawed.
SIHAL begins by acknowledging 6LACK's fans cries for new music on "cold feet." Immediately as the album begins, it is clear that 6LACK is in a clearer state of mind. His heart is filled utter happiniess with this love that he has cultivated and developed. He embraces authentic love and even the idea of marriage on "Inwood Hill Park." The album's title track, "Since I Have A Lover," is a warm, pop&B ballad highlighting 6LACK's finding relief through love. Unlike most of his music, this track diverts from 6LACK's past darker tracks and makes way for a vibrant future. The title track is a safeplace for love and light.
"Wunna dem" allows the crooner to further embrace the same intense love that is evolving him from within. Lastly, the organic "B4L" exhibits an even more heartfelt side of 6LACK. He allows his lover to confide within him and vice versa. He presents his relationship as a friendship more than anything and it feels refreshing.
SIHAL isn't remotely just a land of gumdrops, rainbows, and pure bliss. Just as there are highs throughout life and relationships, there certainly are lows. SIHAL does not focus on highlighting these lows as a way of shame, but instead as way of progression. 6LACK utilizes themes of accountability, communication and honesty to mold himself to be exactly who he claims to be. "Playin House" is a direct example of communication as 6LACK sets the standard for what his relationship will be. Rather than appearing to be one thing, his focus is it simply being what it's suppposed to be - real.
Accountability arises in songs such as "Fatal Attraction" and "Spirited Away" where the singer takes responsibility for past actions while taking the time to process and communicate his feelings in a healthy way that preserves this unordinary love of his. He does whatever necessary work to maintain this beautiful partnership he is creating with his lover. The songs highlight his growth and healing that has gotten him to this stage where he can appreciate his lover. The passionate 2021 single, "Rent Free" continues the theme of accountability as 6LACK attempts to fix a damaged relationship by taking ownership of his faults. "Tit For Tat" goes through the ins and outs of going back and forth in a relationship. 6LACK doesn't try to blame anyone but simply brings the issues to the light.
As SIHAL continues, themes of reflection and awareness appear on tracks such as "Talk," where 6LACK opens up about his mental struggles that propelled him to seek out therapy the proper resources to rebuild himself. "Preach" brings back 6LACK the rapper as he focuses on the lessons life brings us while being honest and not cheating yourself when doing the work to better yourself. On "Testify," 6LACK tries to spin the block and recapture a lost love that has slipped through his fingers due to his own actions. Having lost this precious pearl 6lack tries to make justifications to reclaim his lover back.
"Talkback" evaluates 6LACK's various life experiences that have molded him into the human he is today. A personal favorite arrives on the Don-Toliver assisted "Temporary," where the two share how the love in their lives have changed them. They do not want to lose the very feelings that their lovers bring them. They want this energy to be permanent.
The album's ending track, “NRH,” is a collection of 6LACK's thoughts on former flames. Despite how they ended, he finds himself still pondering over these past relationships during his night ride home.
Ultimatly, Since I Have A Lover does not display a perfected version of 6LACK. Instead, it embodies growth and progression. Just like any human being, 6LACK still makes mistakes and errors. However, instead of hiding from his flaws, he embraces them in order to grow and mature. Since I Have A Lover allows 6LACK as well as his listeners to heal and correctly feel. The acoustic, somewhat up-beat mid-tempo tracks are synonymous to 6LACK's current mental space. Listeners can see and feel the peace and maturation flowing through him even in his wrongdoings. SIHAL marks yet another evolution of the incredible artist that is 6LACK.