Musician Willow Smith poses for the cover of her newest album, The 1st. Smith released the album on Oct. 31, her 17th birthday. Photo via dazeddigital.com.
Singer-songwriter Willow Smith’s second album, The 1st, showcases her honest talent, intelligence and growth from her 2015 debut album Ardipithecus.
On her 17th birthday, Oct. 31, Willow Smith released her second studio album titled “The 1st.” The 11-track record is raw, introspective, and dives deep into Smith’s emotional side. She sings about a variety of topics, including gender equality and the ins and outs of love, proving she is wise beyond her years.
After listening to the album from beginning to end, one would be shocked to remember that the alternative queen on “The 1st” is the same Willow Smith who made 2010 pop-hip-hop hit, “Whip My Hair.” She has grown significantly since then, but has also grown from just two years ago when she released her debut album “Ardipithecus.” The project featured her biggest hit, “Wait a Minute!” and other respectable songs.
Although “Ardipithecus” was reputable, “The 1st” is Smith’s most personal album yet. Her strong, soulful voice mixed with her unapologetically honest lyrics allow listeners to fully connect with what she is singing about.
On “Human Leech,” Smith channels her anger into a passionate song about a lover’s tendency to attach onto their partner and “suck the life right out” of them. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Smith admitted that “Human Leech” was directed towards herself and her own actions, showcasing her high level of self-reflection.
This common theme of maturity is consistent throughout the album, as she takes a sociopolitical stance in the acoustic “Romance,” her first single off “The 1st.” Smith sings, “I’m imagining a different history / Where man and women stay equal / In the eyes of society / Where we don’t condemn different people / For exercising their freedom” and continues to mention rape culture and violence in our society later in the song.
Each of the tracks on “The 1st” are noticeably well-written, lyrically and musically, highlighting the time and effort Smith put into creating her newest album. She has set the bar high for herself yet again, but there is no question that the 17-year-old will continue to outdo herself as she grows.