More than a Shift, it’s an Awakening (album review)

Since watching her on the final season of American Idol, I have been a little obsessed with the beautiful songstress, Avalon Young. So, of course, I have to review her new album, Shift.

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I have to willingly admit that my opinion of this album, since listening over the past 72 hours, continues to shift. Upon my initial listening I felt lukewarm about it. In fact, some draft excerpts for this review will detail just how much:

– ‘Though the album is harmonic and full of melody, it is simply safe.’
‘I don’t hate it. I’m not head over feet in love with it. It’s pretty solid.’
‘A good album to grab when it’s late night, you’re stretched across your bed, and want to reflect on the current status of your love life.’

However, not all of my initial thoughts were lackluster:

-‘On a more positive note, the album doesn’t immediately make me think of another artist, so that’s important and speaks to the uniqueness of her voice.’
-‘Honestly, I hate to say it, the album is cute, like adorable. “These Days” is the closest thing to a single and I’m not sure anyone outside of a particular age bracket will enjoy it.’

After listening to the album a few more times I have to disagree with myself. The album is a beautiful gift and reminder to feel authentically. While doing tasks over the weekend I found myself humming songs from the album, particularly “Brand New”, and yearning to hear it again and again. It is clear that Young pushes herself vocally and really desires for her fans to be able to relate to her feelings. It continues to grow on me more each time I listen, therefore I think everyone needs to hear it; not every album does this.

Now, though I feel myself becoming enamored and truly appreciative of this album, there is still something that bothers me quite a bit–each time she says “boy” I imagine and hear her saying “girl”. This may be my own bias, but I’m pretty definite she falls along the lgbtq spectrum (I even took a poll of some of my queer friends and we all agree)and I have a yearning for her to reflect this in her music. This may not be true, and has no bearing on the quality of her voice or music, but it does impact authenticity.

Overall, my vote is two thumbs up, and I strongly recommend everyone give this album a thorough listen!

As always, Love and Hug More!

-Ms. Malcolm Hughes


Ms. Malcolm Hughes is the editor-in-chief of For Your Black? Conscious. She is a Chicago, IL native–from the city, not the suburbs–strategizing in Washington, D.C. She strives every day to not disappoint or defer the dreams of her 13 year old self. Because at that age, more than any other, she just wanted to see her people win. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter @fybconscious.

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