On July 12, sisters singing duo Chloe x Halle released their newest album, “Ungodly Hour.” And let me tell you right now, it’s amazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect but after listening to the 13 songs on this album, I can say with confidence that the Bailey sisters have put together a beautiful piece of music.
The sisters were in high school in Atlanta in 2013 when, on a whim, they decided to upload a video of them singing Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts.” A few weeks later their video was being viewed by people all across the country, including their favorite music artist. In the time since Beyoncé’s label, Parkwood Entertainment, signed the duo to its team, Chloe x Halle began making waves in pop culture through their first studio album (“The Kids Are Alright” from 2018), acting in TV’s “Grown-ish,” and seeing Halle cast as Ariel in an upcoming live-action film of “The Little Mermaid.”
“Ungodly Hour” starts with an angelic introduction song that has a calming combination of harmonizing vocals, minimal instruments, and a synth sound that carries throughout the rest of the album.
The second track, “Forgive Me,” continues the same airy vocals from the introduction — but do not get this confused with a “pretty” sound. The aura I’d say that’s coming from this song is more like a snake slithering or a powerful queen walking to her thrown. “Forgive Me” is definitely one of my favorites on the album and yet it is such a stark difference from “The Kids Are Alright.” There is a completely different and mature feeling to the songs on this new album, and I love it.
The fourth track, “Do It,” quickly became a social media sensation, with teenagers dancing to the hit on the TikTok app, where people can upload short clips of themselves dancing, making jokes, doing skits, or anything else. TikTok’s clips of “Do It” were able to push the album deeper into the public’s awareness.
The sixth song is the album’s title track. This song reminds me a lot of Brownstone’s song “If you Love Me” from the 1993 “From The Bottom Up” album. In an NPR interview with the duo, Halle Bailey explained the message of both the song and album title by saying: “We were basically telling somebody ‘When you decide you like yourself, and you need someone in your life, love me at the ungodly hour. Love me at my best and my worst.’ So we feel like the title track of this album is really going with the times of what’s happening right now, because truly this does feel like the ungodly hour and we just hope that our music can be a healer right now.”
The album’s original release date was scheduled for June 5 but the duo decided to wait another week in respect of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and to the Black Lives Matter protests.
This album truly has a combination of very different styles of music that are overlapping on a foundation of R&B. Songs like “Lonely” have a sort of indie pop sound while “Don’t Make It Harder on me” has an older ‘70s bass and guitar rhythm. Fans of ‘90s R&B will also enjoy this album. The songs do have a lot of diversity in sound but the angelic vocals and creativity are worth a listen.
Chloe x Halle’s “Ungodly Hour” passed my expectations and is possibly one of my favorite albums of the year. Not only are Chloe x Halle incredible role models but their artistic capabilities are carrying them to a beautiful new era of music.