Ungodly Hour Is the Album of the Summer, and These Are the 6 Best Tracks
Sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey are two of the most talented artists in the R&B game right now. Beyoncé's prodigies, who happen to be two of the stars of Grown-ish, are already two-time Grammy nominees. With the June 12 release of their second studio album Ungodly Hour, Chloe x Halle proved for what seems like the millionth time that they are absolutely golden.
Producing tracks in a home studio by themselves, Chloe x Halle have created their most authentic and intimate album yet. The songs all celebrate being a young woman today, and they drip with honesty and confidence. It's all framed around the "Ungodly Hour" of life in which someone is just emerging into their adulthood. The range on this album is something to marvel at as well. There are tracks that make you want to cry alone in your room and tracks that deserve to be blasted through six-foot-tall speakers in a crowded dance club. Here are six of the greatest.
To get the full "Forgive Me" experience, you simply MUST listen to "Intro" leading into "Forgive Me." Nonetheless, Chloe and Halle were absolutely right in selecting this track as one of their singles and giving it the music video treatment. This is a badass song about reclaiming your worth after someone wastes your time by being unfaithful and lying.
While this whole album has some of Chloe and Halle's best vocals yet, they each really shine in this song between Chloe's powerhouse verses and Halle's airy choruses. On top of the vocal talent, "Forgive Me" is just as complex and impressive without the singing because it has tons of synth and a catchy, heavy beat. Basically, you're going to want to listen to this if you've ever been wronged.
"Baby Girl" serves to empower all the females in the world. It's one of the most powerful feminist songs I've heard in a while that calls us to lift our heads up and continue to love ourselves. The outro focuses on trying to be the strong woman that your younger self would have admired. This is a jam for when you're feeling low and serves as a gentle reminder to honor yourself. It's another one of those songs where Chloe and Halle really go off on the harmonies, layering, and gentleness that they're so capable of, and it creates this beautiful sound of divine femininity over a subtle snapping beat.
The energy in "Tipsy" is pure femme fatale, with consistent imagery of ghosts, murder, and the afterlife. While the lyrics are haunting (thanks to Chloe and Halle, who cowrote), the song is an upbeat bop that makes you want to move.
"Tipsy" is summed up best in the lyrics "I'll take you to the afterlife / Boy, if you ain't actin' right." It's a proclamation from the tough girls of the world that say "Don't cross me because I will make you regret it" and it is meant to be blasted on car rides with your best friends after you vent to them about a relationship gone wrong. This song is playful and fun, asking its listeners to care for their hearts and be unafraid of spooking those who hurt them away.
Produced in collaboration with Disclosure, this track is brimming with dreamy, ethereal rhythm that is both modern and reminiscent of classic R&B. Beyond being the track that dance clubs deserve with its amazing tempo, the lyrics are what really make this song stand out.
This song is essentially the narrator refusing to do all of the emotional labor it takes to build the one they're seeing into a better person, instead demanding that the one they're interested in figures themself out and matures on their own before they'll give them their whole heart. It's a great reminder for a generation of women who are often taught to settle with someone in hopes that they'll eventually change. It doesn't say that you can't love a person who's not quite right for you yet, but it does say that it is their job to grow on their own before they are worthy of you.
Clocking in at merely 51 seconds, "Overwhelmed" still might be the duo's most raw and authentic song yet. Rich with harmonies and absolutely gorgeous piano keys, the song acts as an interlude in the middle of the album. With relatable imagery of feeling like you're drowning or just so constantly on the move that your shoes are worn completely out, "Overwhelmed" is a peaceful song that talks about feeling weak in a way that makes said weakness feel poetic.
"I don't do well under pressure
I don't know it all
I wish I had all the answers
Fix it all myself (Oh)
I feel overwhelmed."
These are lyrics that anyone can relate to. The chaotic cloud of wanting to fix everything yourself while also having none of the answers on how to do so.
Named an acronym for "Rest of Your Life," this song is grungy with vocals that depart from the usual angelic harmonies that Chloe x Halle fans have come to expect. This final track is more alternative, making it a standout on the LP. This song beckons us to wake up and live our lives for ourselves without fear.
The "ROYL" chorus holds the lyrics "Won't you live tonight? (For the rest of your life) / Could be paradise (Never know 'til you try) / Running out of time (Baby, get up and drive, baby) / Won't you live tonight?"
It reminds us that life is fleeting. It's up to us to live for ourselves, not for others — that's how we truly find happiness. Chloe and Halle say, "Shut up and love yourself," and maybe we will now.
Honestly, this whole album has only convinced me further that Chloe and Halle are angels from a higher world, here to bless us with their immaculate writing and seamless vocals.