Normani has had a blockbuster year for someone who has yet to release a debut project. From her highly-successful collaboration with Khalid, “Love Lies,” (read my review here) to her funky guest verse on Jessie Reyez’s “Body Count” remix (read my review here), Normani has provided a specific strain of R&B that is both modern and flirtatious yet classic and restrained. Her soft vocals have fluttered over a plethora of genres this year. She has dabbled in dance/electronica with her Calvin Harris collaboration, “Slow Down” and in pop and reggae-influenced afrobeats with “Checklist,” a collaboration with Wizkid and Harris.
On her latest release, Normani teams up with 6LACK on “Waves.” 6LACK, who recently released his formidable sophomore album earlier this year (read my review here), fully leans into his R&B maestro persona on this fluid and climactic track. The spacious track reverberates with confidence and ease. Normani delivers an impassioned vocal performance over a soundscape of drowned guitar and twinkling bass. Her chemistry with 6LACK is strong, and his verse is solid as well. Their voices blend incredibly well and the climax of Normani’s belts and 6LACK’s counter-harmonies is simply beautiful.
Simply put, these two nailed it. With her run of singles so far, Normani has not had a single miss and the anticipation for her debut album only grows stronger.