Album Review: Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle

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Chloe x Halle is an R&B group that is made up of two sisters, Chloe and Halle Bailey. While having some minor film roles, they didn’t start their music career until Beyoncé discovered them through a YouTube cover video. They released their debut album, The Kids Are Alright, in 2018 which had features from GoldLink and Joey Bada$$. Now, two years later, they return with their sophomore album titled Ungodly Hour.

The first track from the album is Intro which is mostly made up of the “oh” syllable for most of it. It’s fairly short, just under 30 seconds in length. The track ends with the quote “Don’t ever ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.” One of the group members, Halle, said that you should never apologize for who you are. The end of the track smoothly runs into the following track, Forgive Me. This track is somewhat similar to what the introduction was building up. It’s pretty minimal, but you have the occasional strings and bass notes in the background. Their voices just fit so well together on the track. Chloe said that this track is about getting your power back and not feeling so worthless because of someone else.

Baby Girl starts out with a lighter and more playful melody. For the first minute of the track, you just have a light and staccato-like synth playing in the background. Eventually, during the chorus, it opens up more with the synth chords. The group wanted to create this song to empower other women. Whenever someone is feeling insecure or overwhelmed, they want them to feel like they are an amazing person.

Do It has a lot of ‘whippy’ sound effects from the synth in the background. It almost makes it feel like a vaporwave track at times. Honestly, it does feel like it has influences from early 2000s R&B music, especially in their singing style. The message of the track is just being true to yourself and doing whatever you want to do. The group also created a TikTok challenge for fans that utilize this track.

Tipsy is definitely an interesting track off the album. The melody has a ‘swing’ sound to it with a variety of instrumentation. The track opens up with almost a rapping style to her vocals. On the chorus, that’s where she gets more creative with the ‘swinging’ style. The group mentions how being in love can make your heart vulnerable and they want others to realize that you should always be taking care of yourself.

Next, we have the title track, Ungodly Hour, which is also the longest track from the album. This is a very quiet and toned down track, but it is much ‘smoother’ compared to the other tracks. They were able to team up with the group Disclosure for this track. They got the phrase “ungodly hour” from a show, so they decided to use that phrase on this track.

Busy Boy starts with an acapella part from the group about nice guys and playboys finishing last. The track eventually opens up with mostly just a piano and drum beat. This track is about this guy that has been trying to get with their group or any of the other girls they are hanging out with. Even though they might find this person attractive, they know he isn’t worth their time

Chloe x Halle were able to enlist the help of Mike WiLL Made-It, as well as Swae Lee for Catch Up. This was also one of the singles for the album. This is definitely one of the bass-heavy tracks on the album. Swae Lee’s vocals are able to mix smoothly with Chloe and Halle, but for some reason, I just can’t get into this track.

Overwhelmed is a quick, under a minute track from the album. According to the group, this is just a quick interlude sprinkled into the album. It’s mostly just a piano duet between the two that helps them relax when they are feeling overwhelmed. This track was put away for a while, but once they revisited it, they were able to put so many more layers over the track.

Lonely brings us back to the heavy drum hitting kicks. However, this track definitely brings us back down in lightness with their high pitched vocals. They wrote this track about a person that was going through a similar situation. They wanted this person to know that it is okay to be alone, even if they are feeling lonely.

Don’t Make It Harder On Me has a brighter feeling to it. With the sweet vocals and the sweet guitar melody in the background, it just opens up the different things we haven’t seen on this album at this point. This track is about a person who is in a committed relationship, but another person keeps trying to come in and ruin the relationship.

According to Halle, Wonder What She Thinks of Me pairs together with the previous track. This track is definitely piano-heavy in nature. The track talks about how both of these people are in different relationships, but they don’t want to end their current relationship, or be the ‘side-person’.

The last track from the album is ROYL which is another upbeat track. They wanted this track to pay homage to their debut album, The Kids Are Alright. Chloe and Halle wanted to have this feeling of youth and being grungy on this track. The message from this track is that it shouldn’t matter what mistakes you have made in life, just live the best life you can.

Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Forgive Me, Do It, Ungodly Hour, Don’t Make It Harder On Me, ROYL

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