Janette King, “What We Lost”
By Chaka V. Grier · June 24, 2021 Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP

On Janette King’s What We Lost, love’s complications are brought to the fore. Throughout the album, the Montréal-based singer-songwriter debates if real love exists, how to make love last a lifetime, and why we often resist what we desire most.

Sticking to tried and true R&B with hints of neo-soul, King makes each track feel personal and confessional by laying her disappointments, unreciprocated relationships, and feelings of unworthiness on the line. However, when love feels right, like on “Mars,” King embraces love’s magic in a way that sounds sexy and joyous. These inward gazing tracks take a sharp turn midway through on “Change.” There King addresses Black Lives Matter and police brutality, demanding to be seen and respected.

On the tense yet seductively paced “Mirror” King returns inward. “I might be the death of me,” she sings. The album shifts from hopelessness to renewed hope, and by “Ooh Yeah,” King is luxuriating in self-love, self-pleasure, and self-confidence with an intimate, genuine ease that makes What We Lost a relatable experience.

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