You Can’t Kill Me by 070 Shake album review by Sam Franzini for Northern Transmissions

G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam

8

070 Shake

You Can't Kill Me

070 Shake’s sophomore album begins with self-reassurance. “One thing’s for certain / This thing isn’t working,” she says on “Web,” over an increasingly synth-heavy instrumental, eventually harmonizing with herself. The story through the album that follows after saying “I think we should start here” is one of reflection, learning, and ultimately, growth.

The emotional vulnerability is immediately on show on “Invited,” the next song. She talks about the anxiety one gets with that first bit of intimacy with a partner, fretting one single slip-up will be seen as wrong or awkward. Eventually, she sings of a break between her and the partner, which fuels the next part of the album. She admits, though, even after their split, “I’m hoping you got / These blessings I sent / Under Allah.” She’s similarly vulnerable on “Body,” where she confesses, “I wanted your body, but it came with your soul.”

The two songs after “Invited” are the most scathing songs about Shake’s previous relationship. Over two distinct beat switches, she recalls on “History,” “Despite the things she said to me / You don’t mean it either way.” Ultimately, though, she talks about her broader place in the world and how she turned heartbreak into viable action, her music. “You took a piece of me, yeah / But I made peace with it, yeah / I stay on beat to this / Made your heart beat to this,” she sings in the outro.

“Medicine” follows, and gets exactly to the point. “When you were sick, babe, I was your medicine / I’m your oxygen / But I’m cuttin’ off your supply,” she sings over dark synths and vocal modulations, making the overall effect much more frightening. She sounds completely pissed during the whole song over industrial beats, making it a terrifying listen for anyone who has wronged her. Despite her heartbreak, she says, “You can’t kill my faith / Either way, I got a lot,” seemingly the central motif of the whole record and its title.

The following two songs are a more reflective, less angry look back on the relationship. “Skin & Bones” employs a clever entendre, talking about her partner’s treatment of her body in different situations. “You treat me like I’m more than a pair of skin and bones / And that really made a difference in my story,” she sings, but later in the chorus, she’s grateful that they were “Skin and bones under the covers / Kept our love undercover.”

“Blue Velvet,” more emotional and exposed, tells of one night where her partner wore the fabric. “You wore the first night that I felt it / I felt the touch of you,” the beat surprisingly sparse and hand drum-led. In one of the album’s best switches, she asks, almost in a dreamlike state by drawing out her words, “Yeah, does time exist under the ocean? / Yeah, I think we should go there.”

The biggest and oddest misstep is “Wine & Spirits,” which starts with an out-of-place guitar riff. Surprises are everywhere on the album, but here, a change-up is disorienting. The lyrics, too, are so on-the-nose and saccharine it’s almost like a different writer entirely created it—it reads more like Instagram self-help quotes than the polished and emotional lyrics present on previous songs. “The differences between us keep us togеther / Ying and the Yang, it’s more than just a symbol / Lifе is about balance, war, and harmony / You can’t have one without the other,” she sings, over-explaining far more than necessary.

Some songs kick it into gear and begin their most interesting part halfway through, like “Invited” or “Se Fue La Luz”; while it makes for an interesting re-listen, it’s somewhat wasted real estate. “Vibrations,” likewise, begins with footsteps and whispers that could be chopped off and inserted as an interlude. However, her dynamic production style works brilliantly sometimes, as on “Come Back Home,” where the orchestral, tentative beginning transitions into a dark and propulsive second half.

order You Can’t Kill Me by 070 Shake HERE