Album Review

Brittany Howard - WHAT NOW

A gem.

Brittany Howard - WHAT NOW

Such was the impact of ‘Jaime’, Brittany Howard’s 2019 solo debut - with single ‘Stay High’ seemingly so ubiquitous that even Childish Gambino covered the hit - it’s baffling to realise that ‘WHAT NOW’ is only the musician’s second solo album (the same number as her output with Alabama Shakes). That timelessness of touch that she brought to previous projects is here too: a crackly warmth seeps through opener ‘Earth Sign’, even while the track builds to a crescendo that’s equally euphoric and claustrophobic. Dualities are woven in throughout, whether via the gorgeously jazzy ‘Every Color in Blue’ which touches on themes of depression, or ‘Red Flags’, on which she sings of running “right through” the titular warnings atop a soothing, trip-hop instrumental. Sonically sprawling (‘80s guitar sounds are referenced on the title track; a glitchy beat flickers through ‘Another Day’; ‘Power To Undo’ brims with pop-funk chaos) yet also unafraid to find joy in simple pleasures (the most immediate moment comes courtesy of ‘Prove It To You’, a club-ready stomp), ‘WHAT NOW’ is a gem.

Tags: Brittany Howard, Reviews, Album Reviews

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