R&B singer Natasha Alexander blessed us with her first EP Super some three years ago, and while the music industry often follows trends as fast as Twitter feeds go, Alexander is artist of longevity. As stated in her bio: “On her debut recording EP: the Super mixtape, Natasha incorporates beats from artists like Ninth Wonder, Flying Lotus, and Madlib to execute her own songs using hip-hop and neo soul soundscapes to highlight her warm but powerful voice and personal lyrics”.
First song in, Alexander owns a powerful, yet sensual command over her words. In “Three Bells”, Alexander delivers a song about the complexities of human interaction: “I am a victim of your charisma // Overwhelmed// I thought I knew you well// Now i've out done myself// Sink to the bottom and// Shoot myself in the head//Quick sand”. Glorious bursts of soul and emotion, Natasha Alexander understands any first song sets the precedent for the rest of the project. The first song is exact in its success for its seamless ability to blend vulnerability as well as grit and passion by way of stunning verse.
Track four, “god Queen”, is a praise of black women, women crowned in glorious melanin. Effortlessly reaffirming the supremacy of her words while empowering her listeners, the lyrics are unapologetic in their declaration: “ I have made you God Queen / Sovereign / Supreme Being / Mother Of all things/ King / God / Queen / Poet / Chief / Priest / God / Queen / I have made you / Sound and speed / Cosmic / Cold / clean / God / Queen”. Each word is an affirmation. Each word uplifts the women (and / or gender non-conforming humans who see themselves as queens) who absorb her work and I find it refreshing how she is mindful of the impact her lyrics have on her listeners. The confidence and exuberance she gives us in this track solidifies that Natasha is an artist who insists on doing things her way. She is Black. She is a woman. She is Black and loud and grateful for her blackness. And God bless.
As a final thought: What I love about “Three Bells” so much, why it moves my spirit, and why to a degree I wish the remainder of the EP mirrored this track’s brilliance, is how glory pours out of her. That was comes from her words is pain and what comes out on the side is victory. And yet, I am grateful that Alexander made sure no other track sounds like “Three Bells”. Because of the mixtape’s brevity, the minute attention to detail is sonically unique and careful.
Final Rating: 5/5