Jack has been one to watch on the music scene for a few years now, but there is no denying he has skyrocketed in popularity over the past twelve months. From appearing at all the major events from the Met Gala to the Grammy’s, he’s quickly secured his spot on the A list. However, with this new level of fame comes a new level of critiques. Putting the fear aside he just released a new album and fans and critics alike have been eagerly awaiting the new music.
If you listened to Jack’s last album, you already knew what this new album would entail. Harlow’s songwriting strategy is all about storytelling. His last album paid homage to his roots, including a song named “Baxter Avenue”, named after the street he grew up on.
OG Jack Harlow fans think that Harlow is only making music that the radio will play, but I beg to differ. Harlow seems like one of the most authentic artists that I’ve seen. He said that the best advice he’s received about rapping is to not try and sound like something you’re not. He started to learn how to rap using his own voice, closer to how he talks, and he made his claim to fame from there.
Yes, his older stuff is a lot different than his new stuff. His older songs are a lot less storytelling and a lot more about flexing (for example, “I WANNA SEE SOME ASS”). Not to say he doesn’t flex on his new stuff. For his third single off the album, a snippet of the song “First Class” was posted on Tik Tok and fans went crazy. The chorus is a rendition of Fergie’s “Glamorous” – with a Jack Harlow twist. It’s absolutely addicting to listen to. I can’t help but sing it out loud when I’m walking around my house.
Now let’s talk about his new album. Come Home the Kids Miss You, a title inspired by the comments on Harlow’s social media comments. When the title was announced, I thought there was no better name for this album than that. He’s catapulted into fame not only because of his music, but his online interactions as well. His audience demographic has obtained lots of female attention because of his flirtatious attitude, as well as his sense of humor online. He’s able to take a joke and he will give it back to you.
Harlow hyped up the album saying “legends only” are the features – and he wasn’t lying. The features include Pharrell, Drake, Justin Timberlake, and Lil Wayne. 2022 has been a big year for Harlow and collabs. From meeting up with Kanye to perform at his live show in Miami, to going on vacation with Drake, and even actress Danielle Fishelle (aka Topanga) promoting the album. In an interview asking what his next dream collab would be, he said he really didn’t have an answer. That all of his dream collabs were on this album. Can he really get any better from here?
Harlow manages to be secretive and tell us all his secrets at the same time, through his songs. His flirty side shows in his songs “Lil Secret” and “Side Piece”. In the first song, he raps about his “main chick”, and then in the next song he needs a separate one for his side piece. Celebrities usually hate the label of being a “player”, but Jack embraces it.
The ladies swoon over him because he seems attainable, and he makes every girl feel special. In an interview, he says at a concert he will pick an attractive girl in a crowd and go over to her a lot throughout the show. I’d like to think I was that girl at the shows I’ve been to, but I’d be lying. I will take some credit and say that we’ve made eye contact a few times, but it doesn’t compare to the number of times he serenaded my sister at one of the shows. I’m just glad I was able to capture it on film.
We also see a new side of Harlow on this album. He shows off his vocals in the chorus of “Poison”. When I heard it, I may or may not have teared up a little. Who knew he could sing too?
He sticks to his roots and pays homage to his home in songs like “State Fair”, “Talk of the Town”, and “Young Harleezy”. It’s obvious that Jack is grateful to his hometown. He also stays connected to the community by raising money and donating it to Kentucky charities, getting partnerships with Louisville native brands such as KFC, and collabing with other artists that came up from the same area.
My review of Jack’s new album is that it embodies Harlow’s career and personality as he is at this point in his life. If I had to choose, my favorite songs are “I Got A Shot” and “Talk of the Town”, probably the catchiest tracks on the album. But the album itself has had mixed reviews. Some new fans say it’s mid, while others say it’s comparable to J. Cole’s work. His sound is somewhere between rap and R&B. He has some slow, sensual songs but also has some upbeat ones. I’m not going to say that he’s perfect, but I think he’s pretty close. His amazing storytelling skills and personability with his fans allow him to get very far. He really is the whole package. He deserves all the hype that he gets.