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Single Review: Hi Love “Queen & Slim”

A little too top-heavy to be considered a straight dance track, yet still swing-filled in the right spots and melodically soulful beyond expectations, all the right ingredients are present to make Hi Love’s recipe for allure impossible to resist in her new single “Queen & Slim” and its music video. Debuting on April 1st, there’s immediately a feeling of sonic strength circling Hi Love’s every move in this track upon her entering the fold. The music is some of the most potent she’s ever contended with, but as anyone who has been listening to her content this whole time is more than aware of by now, she’s definitely capable of holding her own.

At the onset of the track, “Queen & Slim” sounds like a song made to highlight the versatility Hi Love has as a vocalist more than it is her poetic skills or the knack for pulling together really difficult arrangements, and this notion is reinforced as we push on further. Her voice is always the main source of charisma in this piece, and although it has a lot of imposing force to deal with off of the backend, she never sounds flustered – the calm in her demeanor actually shapes the narrative as much as the harmonies she starts would.

The video plays up the implied decadence of this release more than I would have gone with had I not known how good at this type of material Hi Love really is, and being that its visuals are in turn romanticized through the tonal presence of the music, it all pans out the way it should at the end of the day. I’ve been pickier about excess-packed R&B in the last year mostly because of the overabundance I’ve seen on the eastern end of the Atlantic, but coming from an upper-Midwestern American, it just feels right.

I’m not alone in my opinion that Hi Love is one of the freshest players in her Chicago scene today, and her new single and music video “Queen & Slim” verifies a lot of what critics like me have been saying about her potential for a few years now. She’s a take-no-prisoners-style of singer who can turn up the melodic fireworks seemingly whenever she wants to, and with the self-control she has artistically, there’s a lot of reason for fans to believe this isn’t the peak of her output, but only a sample of what’s still to come.

Claire Uebelacker



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