Syd | Fin (Columbia)

The mood for this album is easy listening and sexy, two feelings that go hand in hand.

At first I thought I was reviewing a six-track EP, but to my pleasant surprise, there was a full LP with 12 tracks—and let me just say this: It’s amazing.

I can admit, I had heard of THE INTERNET and listened to a couple songs, but I didn’t keep following them to stay abreast new music. Thanks to the Friend Zone’s Dustin, Fran and Assante raving about it (around the 1:06:30 mark), I figured I had to give a listen to this Syd Fin—and I’m so glad I did.

Fin’s opener “Shake ’em Off” begins with a phone call that sounds like a weekly check in we all have with our tribe, just going through how we’re feeling and what are we’re going to do for the rest of the week. And sometimes no matter what happens, we have to shake it off and keep pushing to the next level.

On the next track, “Know,” Syd whispers about not letting anyone know about this secret relationship she has, but also the brevity of the encounter being both a rush and ego satisfaction. Listening to it I feel like I, too, am a part of this secret and wondering can anybody hear us.

The mood for this album is easy listening and sexy, feelings that, if you think about it, go hand in hand. It pulls you in enough to get you comfortable and cozy, just like R&B should.

On “No Complaints,” Syd recognizes she’s begun the process to being a superstar and there won’t be any complaining about the sacrifices that come with the territory; instead, she’s basking in it. I thoroughly enjoy her cockiness in these lines: “Plotting on some bitches in a wagon, I’m gon’ make this money for the ones who never had it/ N****s think they balling, but I’m waiting on the new stats/ I would tell you I am the greatest but you knew that.”

From certified shit talker on “No Complaints” to humble and driven on “Nothin’ to Somethin’,” one thing is consistent: Stardom can change your life. And Syd is taking it head on, not worrying about other’s opinions about being selfish or being a new people (aka letting the fame change her). She’s earned it.

“All about Me” is definitely one of my favorites of this album. That could be partially because I’m just a tad narcissistic and this song caters to that. “I be more than a god in my dreams it’s wishful thinking,” Syd spits. “Today, I’m only human, but know that when I die/ My grave gon’ be my music, my soul is living through it, baby/ Take care of the family that you came with/ We made it this far and it’s amazing/ People drowning all around me, so I keep my squad around me/ Keep it in the family that you came with/ Keep enemies close you know the basics/ People crowding all around me; I guess it’s all about me”

I love how the beat drops and she ever so slightly switches up her style to flow with it in to the second verse. I’m ready for the weather to break so I can have this blasting from my car. Whoever produced this song needs to also come out with an instrumentals album, because this production is fantastic. (This is where I wish I knew more about the sounds produced in the studio to accurately identify the melody of this track; it brings it to life and then some. This producer is the Timbaland to her Missy.)

What Syd really digs into with this album is that no matter where you are in the journey, it’s about loyalty and staying true to yourself and the reason you came to the table: to eat, and eat well. “Don’t be mad if I switch up, my good taste got me this much/ Too sweet for your taste buds, I seen you sleeping, ho, wake up”

“Smile More” introduces the more intimate and sensual part of the album. It’s about the ultimate satisfaction—and how do you know if someone is satisfied with what you do for/to them? They smile more. Who doesn’t love an independent woman? Syd sure does, and “Got Her Own” is laced with admiration for this woman who has her own things, dreams, and aura. Syd is not only is impressed by her, but also wants to meet and know her. But she knows that this woman won’t be impressed by the average because she requires more.

“You try to impress her with your money, you don’t know she got her own money/ She has an eye for the finer things, I’m loving your wings, girl they’re fly to me/ I know you seen her in the magazine, your eyes they might hate but it’s flattering, girl/ You by yourself is a tragedy…”

I love her acknowledgement, appreciation, and encouragement of independent women. Syd also has a word of advice to those who want to step to this anomaly of a woman: If you’re thinking of being basic, don’t even waste your—or her—time. You have to be superior to even consider playing in her league where she doesn’t need you, but wants you. You have to be an asset, not a liability.

The über sensual and sexual “Drown in It” is the only song that makes me angry because it’s so, so good yet so short like Jay Z’s “Beach Is Better.” Why do you have to do us like that so good, Syd? If you listen really closely, your “Body” will tell you want it wants; you have to allow it to have full control and fun, even if that means having some no-frills fun shake for a few “Dollar Bills” with Steve Lacy.

All right, so there’s not really a ballad on Fin, per se, but “Over”—and specifically 6Black’s verse, which ends the song—does exactly what I look for ballads to do: put all the emotions out there and make you deal.

“Safe to say I was right, you was wrong; that’s okay/ Love was broke; love was lost; love was poor – section 8/ Safe to say I’m in your head, and you probably want me dead/ That’s a little extreme, I don’t roll out anything because love make a n**** do shit that he don’t wanna/ Why would you agree if you ain’t built for the drama/ Meditation, conversation, and a lil’ marijuana/ I know when shit ain’t right, you can act if you wanna, girl/ I don’t want to say too much, and I don’t want to make assumptions, but lately I’ve been giving no fucks/ You love me, but I’m fucking with you from afar/ No, I don’t want confusion; this love was an illusion; we don’t know what we doing, love/ How we gon’ look for help when you don’t know yourself, yeah.”

The final track comes on just as smooth as the first, and with a zinger: “You can thank my insecurities for keeping me around you, babe.” Damn! That’s an honest, I’m-sitting-in-my-stuff line. The song, “Insecurities” goes on to detail the hows and more whys. My mind is stuck on that line.

Fin embodies everything that comes with success: the doubts, the fame, the joy, the lost ones, the fun, the sex, and most of all, the realization that you still have to be okay going home to yourself at night. You have to own your strengths and your weakness, but one weakness Syd does not have is making a drab album. Fin is nothing short of sensual, sensible, and sizzling, and I’m more than okay with that. Come to Nashville, Syd! A | Ashley White

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