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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

My Favourite 2020 Album: Ungodly Hour

Before anyone says it, I do realise that this album, “Ungodly Hour” by Chloe and Halle, came out months ago. It has been reviewed by pretty much every major publication like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Metacritic, so the opinion of a green reviewer with a tiny following isn’t gonna shake the internet.

HOWEVER, this review needed to happen for two reasons: 1, it’s my favourite album of the year (YES that includes Chromatica), and 2, I want to give new readers a sense of who I am through the media that I really love. I’m toying with doing my favourite movie of the year or my favourite movies of all time as well.

Back to Chloe and Halle! This album gives me so much serotonin. If ever I’m feeling super stressed, or just wanna chill, or even when I’m studying, I turn to this album. The pulsating beats, the soothing, harmonious voices of the duo just release a lot of good feelings for me and I’m not sure why, but it will do the same for you if you let it.

Ungodly hour is the sister duo’s second studio album, the first being “The Kids Are Alright” in 2018, and it shows a maturing in both sound and songwriting for the pair. Now I’m a bit of a band waggoner, and only heard that album recently, and only recently discovered the pair are also kid actors.

A lot of people would say that Ungodly Hour is just your typical “We’re grown up, this is our grown-up album,” but I argue that’s not true. while the music does show maturity, the songwriting tells the story of two young women who are just enjoying life. Take their hit “Do It” for instance:

I'm just with the crew We ain't out here looking for boo 'Cause some nights be better with you It's a homies-only kind of mood And tonight, we on a hundred One hundred No drama, no baby mamas, keepin' it cute

There’s no overt sexuality there, no real rush to prove they’re provocative, they sing about boys, break ups (So forgive me, 'cause I'm not teary/ Best believe I move onto better things), and parties.

There is one song however which is actually my favourite on the album, Tipsy, where things get a little dark. You could never tell with the smooth tones of Chloe or the angelic high notes of Halle, or from even the music, which is groovy, but the lyrics are WILD, a warning not to mess with these two or they WILL mess you up:

I'll take you to the afterlife, boy if you ain't acting right Key your car and crash the lights, hit your head I'm not polite Then I'll hunt down your family, let 'em know 'bout the tragedy Who did it? A mystery, but you know that it, it was me, yea

Speaking on the actual instrumentals and production, I’m not a musician or an expert so I don’t necessarily know all the lingo, all I know is that it’s feel-good, chill-out music. Chloe actually had a hand in producing every track, and there’s a maturity there as well they’re not just boppy, top 40 tracks. The title track “Ungodly Hour”, which was co-produced by Disclosure, for instance has a steady, pulsating beat and flowing synths that slowly rise in volume throughout the song and match perfectly with Chloe’s silky-smooth vocals and Halle’s beautiful notes.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that these two have done some class A promotion and performances for this album during a time when creating lasting, memorable live performances is difficult. Their pre-show VMA performance, for instance, where they were dressed like metallic queens from space, was particularly beautiful and probably should have been part of the main show, as the production was on the same level as some of the show’s main acts.

So that’s my favourite album of 2020 so far. If you’re stressed out, or just wanna chill out to some beautiful music I highly recommend this album, Ungodly Hour to any and everyone. I hope these two keep making great music and performances together for a long time.

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