New Album Review

The Angel You Don’t Know Review

Written By Miranda


Listen if you like: Ajebutter22, WizKid, Obongjayar 

Amaarae, a Ghanaian American R&B musician, released her first album yesterday: “THE ANGEL YOU DON’T KNOW.” Amaarae is a groundbreaking artist, focusing much of her music on gender and representation. Her first EP, “Passionfruit Summers,” was well-received by fans in Ghana and worldwide, gaining rankings on Apple Music. Amaarae is also interested in fashion and makeup as obvious by visiting her Instagram @/amaarae and her online appearance in Vogue magazine. Amaarae is an activist for feminism, gender identity, LGBT rights, and most recently the campaign to end SARS. LGBT Ghanian citizens face discrimination and violence, but Amaarae is vocal about the rights of these individuals, and we see this reflected in much of her art. 

The album seamlessly glides between different genre influences including Afropop, R&B, mall rock, dancehall, and more. Amaarae connects popular Afropop with western styles of rap and R&B to create a tantalizing combination of sound that you’re sure to love. In a press release about the album, Amaarae said: 

“With this new project, this new chapter in my musical journey, I feel so incredibly alive. I strived to colour outside of the afro-pop parameters and re-define for myself what it means to create African music. Sonically, visually and spiritually my message is stronger than ever. I feel like the true me has resurrected and it’s only going to get more insane from here.” 

And re-define music she sure has. The 14-track album dives deep into social commentary, consciousness of global issues, and themes relevant to any young adult through wispy, light vocals contrasted against tougher-sounding rap verses. Listening to the sequential tracks, “TRUST FUND BABY” and “HELLZ ANGEL” best exemplifies this interesting contrast. The album exudes confidence and ambition, and especially as a debut album it definitely delivers something amazing. Give it a listen and definitely keep an eye out for Amaarae’s continued rise to relevance in the alternative/rap/R&B circles.

By Miranda

I am a senior in Political Science at NC State and lover of R&B, rap, international, and electronic.