Track Review: “Have Mercy!” Chlöe Is Here!

After months of teasing and a viral TikTok trend based on one snippet, Chlöe has finally unleashed “Have Mercy.” One half of the 5x Grammy-nominated Platinum-selling sister duo Chloe x Halle, Chlöe has officially launched her solo career.

Produced by Murda Beatz, “Have Mercy” is a raucous and joyous ode to large derrières. The beauty of “Have Mercy” is that the song doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. With a booming bassline and a hook that’s relentlessly catchy, “Have Mercy” is tailor-made for the dance floor. The “work, work it, work it” chants in the background of the first chorus simultaneously invokes bounce music and help the song become a bit more full-figured (no pun intended). The ascending melody in the latter half of the chorus transitions perfectly into the enchanting tone that Chlöe employs in the first verse. “Have Mercy’s” first verse is reminiscent of the blend that Chloe x Halle achieved on their Ungodly Hour album. On that record, they were able to meld the haunting vocal delivery of The Kids Are Alright with more pop-minded melodies. Chlöe continues this evolution on “Have Mercy” by adding in a choir of her own layered background vocals in the third repetition of the song’s chorus. Those background vocals, along with the whispers and ad-libs peppered throughout the track, help keep the song engaging and prevent it from losing steam.

Admittedly, the lyrics fall flat, particularly the verses and pre-chorus. Nevertheless, it’s a dance song about ass; it’s not like anyone was expecting something on par with The Odyssey. Chlöe’s personality and rap-sung cadence do a lot of heavy lifting on “Have Mercy.” Lines like “He say he like that Laffy Taffy / He so goofy, call me daddy” and “Temporary, that’s never rare-y” don’t sound utterly ridiculous because Chlöe delivers them with inimitable ease and swagger. At its core, “Have Mercy” is a song that reclaims Chlöe’s autonomy over her own body and sexuality; she just so happened to make a banger at the same time. “Have Mercy” is a beacon of fun in a year that desperately needs it. The song is a relatively unexpected direction from Chlöe considering Chloe x Halle’s general sound, but that just makes her follow-up to this song all the more intriguing.

Score: 65

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