In the midst of the ongoing nightmare that is the COVID-19 pandemic, (Liv).e released the gorgeous Couldn’t Wait to Tell You…
It knocked my socks off. I watched the entire livestream of the album release party. My partner, who I was living with at the time, soon became sick-to-death of my endless re-listening. It struck a big chord with me on an emotional level. Imagine my delight when this little EP, CWTTY+, drops exactly a year later.
The opening track (“_21”) represents the elusive “final track” of the album, hence its name. It’s got a delicious samba feel that makes you feel like you’re floating. The lyrics are about a romance that just didn’t quite work out, although they said it would work out in the long run (“he said if i could only string along”). You’re left with the feeling that although it might not have worked out, holding on to that lover in their head was still worth it.
The second track, aptly titled “Lessons Reprised,” reworks track 5 from the album in a trippy little number.
Which takes us to the third track, “Winter Songs,” where Liv.e reminds us that “real niggas don’t freeze up,” not even in the wintertime. There are themes of insomnia, hustling, and being cheated out of your money. It actually recycles lyrics from Track 9 of the album (“Cut To The Chase”):
lovers will be slipping and sliding… artists will be bopping and writing dreams will be streaking it’s frightening i gotta.. kite on my house phone and its waiting on lightning i mean.. i be waiting on phone calls like.. what are you on.. you got my money? y’know? i be tip toeing on ice..
This brilliant interweaving of the album into the EP is outdone only by the Little Beaver reference on the next track, “Party Life,” which references the famous track by Little Beaver, “Get Into the Party Life.” Liv.e makes her influences known to those paying attention, and those steeped in hip hop history will recall the People Under The Stairs’ sample of the same track. Liv.e’s reference is particularly exciting because she’s bringing the old into the new through lyricism and paying respect to the elders.
Tracks 5 & 6 are special too, but not the way the first four tracks hold a special place for me. Track 6 is a beautiful and psychedelic send-off to one of the best albums of 2020. Get into this party life!