Syd's "Broken Hearts Club" Takes risks with Love, Openness, and Pain
Come one, come all! Welcome to the Broken Heart’s Club! Have you ever had your heart broken? Have you ever been afraid to love? Have you ever been extremely vulnerable in love? Despite the past, are you willing to give love another shot? If you said yes, then Syd’s sophomore album, Broken Hearts Club is for you! Five years after releasing her extraordinary, solo-debut album Fin, the hazy lover girl has finally returned. Released Friday (Apr. 8), Broken Hearts Club conceptualizes romance, vulnerability, transparency, and intense love/pain in a matter of 13 songs. It marks one of Syd's first major heartbreaks. Running for approximately 40 minutes, Syd’s sophomore project adds only a few friends along the ride (Kehlani, Lucky Daye, & Smino.)
The album's tone is set with the project's third single, "CYBAH." Recruiting the sensational Lucky Daye, Syd seeks assurance from her partner. Before making this evolving thing of theirs official, Syd presents them with a platter of questions to further determine if their partnership is worth the time and effort. Longing for someone who is truly down for her, Syd asks them if they could essentially break a heart. Because ultimately if they can, that very heart that could be broken might just be Syd’s. Excited yet fearful, she places her feelings on the table for her partner to receive with care. Lucky’s warm charisma aids the song as he tells his partner to promise to protect his heart. Syd switches up the tempo on the electronic, bouncy "Tie The Knot." Growing even more personal, Syd addresses her feelings and emotions even more. Clearly in love, she has a revelation that this relationship might just be the very one that causes her to settle down for good.
Broken Hearts Club swiftly moves along as listeners reach two of the lead singles from the album, "Fast Car" & "Right Track." Both records are filled with utter grooviness, euphoria, and bliss. "Fast Car" blends the lines of both pop and R&B as Syd maintains her focus on her lover. With no regard to who is around, who is watching, or any other outside noise, Syd paints this picture of being dangerously in love. She finds serenity, tranquility, and safety in the arms of her lover. Nothing else matters.
"Right Track" reinforces this idea of love as Syd teams up with Smino. They both exhibit high infatuation for their partners. Syd feels at ease and faithful. Everything feels perfect. There is a sense of pure optimism and hopefulness in Syd's voice and delivery. Smino compliments Syd's thoughts with a quick verse about making better decisions and ultimately moving on the "right track" because of their lovers. The idea of absolute glee and joy continues on the heartfelt "Sweet" where Syd's delivery is very... thankful. The song feels like an answered prayer of Syd's as she looks at her partner and sees everything she's ever desired. Not focused on material pleasures and matters, she celebrates her partner and praises them for how they have made her life even better simply by being in it. Because of this feeling, she makes it her mission to not "f*ck" this relationship up.
Broken Hearts Club is helplessly romantic. Having created the album following a serious relationship, Syd takes listeners along the journey of her emotions through each track in real-time. The journey continues on the smooth appealing "Control." Here, Syd harmoniously relinquishes her control to her lover. She has no problem letting her lover be the captain. Head over heels in love, Syd wants nothing more than within the presence of her partner for eternity. Her low airy vocals cradle the beat as she sings to her heart's content. Sensuality and stimulation arrive on both the slow-burning "No Way" & "Getting Late."
Enticed and entranced by her lover, Syd's raspy, breathy voice echoes throughout "No Way." Her thoughts are consumed with only the image of this girl she's in love with. She is hypnotized and has not one desire of being released from the spell of her lover's embrace. "Getting Late" (a single from the "Queen & Slim" movie soundtrack) intensifies this slow love-making energy. Syd reflects on how the pairing came to be. From starting as friends to now in each other’s beds, Syd and her partner have created something worth meaning. Her falsetto is a testament to the passion she feels for this lover. She reassured them that she can be their safe place and urges them to let their guard down for her.
As Broken Heart Club reaches its second half, the energy begins to switch to a darker essence. While the first half is filled with butterflies, warmth, and gentle pleasure, the second half delivers more of the heartbreak, actualization of loss, and pain. Beginning with "Out Loud," Syd pairs with none other than Kehlani as the two desire openness and truth from their respective lovers. Over this organic and acoustic appealing production, they both desire to be claimed, loved and celebrated out loud. Syd desires to be loved hard from the very highest of mountains to the very lowest of valleys. Kehlani’s voice ministers as they demand their lover to state the ways that they simply cannot be with them. Both Kehlani and Syd desire to be loved without limitation. The pairing with Kehlani feels very purposeful as the two are both gay, and they sing about being wanted, loved, and treasured publicly and proudly.
In "Heartfelt Freestyle," Syd asks her partner to be real with her and let her know if their love is for show or if it's a sure thing. With another mid-tempo track, Syd bellows about refusing to waste time on anything that is meaningless. While it is very much real for her, she needs the energy to be reciprocated. She desires authenticity and truth and in the same breath, Syd is still madly in love with this woman. Syd takes a risk and puts her heart, emotions, and feelings on the table. As Syd questions the love, listeners begin to witness the fall of her relationship. Upon arriving at the Steve Lacy-produced "BMHWDY," they experience the idea of loss. Syd tells a story of losing this lover she once thought would be there for eternity. Honest and true, she acknowledges that her heart misses her lover but she refuses for it to be tossed into the garbage again. BMHWDY assesses the damage that has been done before moving forward.
The album's final songs are a send-off to Syd's former flame. They acknowledge the love the two shared has now turned sour and at this point, it's now time to unfortunately say goodbye. "Goodbye My Love" is melancholic, gloomy, and dark. Having now reached the point of no return, Syd accepts that the love is lost. Over chilling vocals, she sings about finding each other again one day perhaps but what they thought was forever simply was not destined. It ends the chapter on that saga of love for Syd. Broken Hearts Club's finale track "Missing Out," is a song of reflection and evaluation. Having gone through the heartbreak and loss, Syd looks back. She acknowledges that both she and her lover didn’t nourish the relationship well enough to maintain it and allow it to flourish. However, she makes it clear the one who is missing out now is not her. Her storytelling is vivid as she recounts the day her lover left her. Embedded in her mind and soul, that moment causes her to free herself and move on.
Ultimately, Broken Hearts Club is the hopeless romantic’s bible. Much like those very people who find themself on cloud 9 when they’re in love Broken Hearts Club takes you up, but when it reaches its lows, you feel every single one. The first half of the album is consumed with the bubbly feelings associated when newly in love. The obsessive feelings, heavy passion, and intense stimulation consume the first few songs. The second half transitions to the downfall and sheer eruptive heartbreak that can occur in the cycles of love.
Broken Hearts Club truly may be Syd’s most personal work yet. Every emotion and feeling she endures, she manages to translate in every song. Broken Hearts Club is a testament to the good and bad layers of love. It is an album that will transcend time and be the very soundtrack of many people’s lives. Regardless of the type of love, it is relatable to all who have ever been in love, been hurt, and still seek an unordinary love.
Stream Syd's Broken Hearts Club below.