• Darby VanDeVeen

Tori Kelly Keeps a Positive Mindset on New EP 'Solitude'

“Kelly’s strong vocals are the highlight of the release.”

“Right now I’m just stuck inside the crib on my own” Tori Kelly sings on her new EP, Solitude, released on August 14. Recorded from her house it consists of 4 original songs and one cover of Drake’s “Time Flies.” As usual, Kelly’s strong vocals are the highlight of the release, requiring only minimal production to bring her impressive range to life.

“Value” and “Glad” are the two highlights of the EP and have similar messages. “Value” is about realizing your own worth after a bad breakup, while “Glad” is a love letter to her husband, André Murillo. So even though they are about different types of love (with yourself vs. with someone else), they end up being two sides of the same coin. Self-love has become a large conversation in the last few years with social media altering the way we see our lives and now compare them to others. Realizing that you have value no matter what anyone else is doing or who you’re with is an important step for all of us to take in our journey of self-acceptance. “Glad” also features Kelly as the sole writer, which adds a more personal touch to an already personal song.

On the other hand, “Time Flies” and “Unbothered” were the lowlights on the EP. While Tori Kelly’s sound typically reflects her R&B/hip-hop influences, this Drake cover did not suit her at all. As for the song itself, I found the lyrics to be repetitive to the point of annoyance. Her vocals never cease to amaze me, but even they seemed more subdued on this track. The way Kelly sings the word ‘unbothered’ is what originally turned me off to “Unbothered,” along with the spoken word parts of it.

“Don’t Take Me Home” was unremarkable to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a solid track, but didn’t provide anything special to make it stand out on the EP. However, I did like the lyricism on “Don’t Take Me Home” and I found it reminiscent of a country track. Details like “dancin’ in the grass with our shoes off” and “layin’ in your truck bed/ wrapped in a blanket” are staples in country songs, so hearing them with the pulsing production was new and pleasant.

Even though this is not Kelly’s strongest release, most of the tracks are good, save for a few exceptions. After her two pop albums, I was expecting more out of Kelly on this EP but it’s still a satisfactory EP.


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