Track Review: Summer Walker Previews New LP With “Ex For A Reason”

After a moody and sensual EP (Life On Earth) and a slew of guest appearances (Khalid’s “Eleven,” Pop Smoke’s “Mood Swings,” etc.), Summer Walker has finally made the jump to her long-awaited sophomore era. Still Over It, the follow-up to her massive 2019 debut Over It, is led by “Ex For A Reason” — an underwhelming collaboration with JT from City Girls.

Written and produced by Sean Garrett, Nija, Buddah Bless, London on da Track, Boobie, and Summer and JT, “Ex For A Reason” is a barely comprehensible admonishment to the ex-girlfriends that came before Summer and JT. The track is inexplicably drenched in vocal filters that warp Summer’s already-slurred enunciation into a muddled mumbling mess. In a sense, this decision may have been intentional since the unimaginative lyrics don’t touch any of the highs that Summer reached on Over It. “Ex For A Reason” sounds as if it was built around the first line of the hook: “that bitch your ex, for a reason though.” Melodically, it’s a great line and an instant ear-worm, but every other part of the song falls flat. In the pre-chorus, Summer sends direct threats to this ex (“She better understand the consequence, she fuckin’ with me / ‘Cause tonight I’ll end it all”), but her drowsy delivery causes her bark to have absolutely no bite. On a brighter note, “Ex For A Reason” is a decidedly uptempo track — a moment of growth for Summer and the vibe&B genre that she reigns over. The production has some genuine bounce to it which helps accentuate how catchy the chorus is. However, the main issue is that the song’s verses lack the punch to maintain that momentum, so the song, in its totality, feels like it’s searching for a peak that never arrives. With her guest verse, JT does her best to up the energy but some of her awkward flow changes result in a few minor road bumps. If anything, “Ex For A Reason” is a track with clear potential that just doesn’t quite click. There’s definitely room for it to be a grower, but Summer has come harder with more definitive hits, and this is simply not one of them.

Score: 54

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