Samia’s newest album “Honey” adds to her sad girl style

Marissa Alejo, Scene editor

I discovered Samia around a year ago from her alternative song “Big Wheel,” off of her debut album “Baby”. The 26-year-old daughter of “Hocus Pocus” actress Kathy Najimy specializes in sad-girl indie rock. When I learned she was releasing an album, I was over the moon. However, having dedicated 40 minutes to listen to the album all the way through, I feel slightly underwhelmed as this album could have showcased her talents much better. 

“Honey” opens with the track “Kill Her Freak Out,” about killing her ex’s new girlfriend. Maybe my opinions are skewed based off of a few recent releases from bigger artists like SZA’s “Kill Bill,” but for me this idea is run through. Although the vocals on this song are some of my favorites on the album, the lyricism isn’t her best. The production of this song had my hopes up for the rest of the album, with organ-like vocals accompanied by synths, making for an ethereal outro.

One track in particular stands out, finding the perfect balance between simplicity and uniqueness: “Mad at Me” featuring Papa Mbye. This song is incredibly catchy with a simple baseline accompanied by vocals from Samia and the only featured artist on the album. His vocals provide a refreshing contrast to Samia’s pop sound, cutting through the otherwise repetitive baseline.

The next few songs struggle to meet the same effortlessly cool production. “Sea Lions” begins with Samia’s vocals on full display with a light acoustic backing, then transitions to a more high-energy production with a nearly minute-long instrumental portion. I am not a fan of the way that the beat drops and the oddly-placed minute of random speech ruins the energetic instrumental.

The title track, “Honey,” isn’t anything special and it struggles to engage listeners. The chorus feels incredibly commercial and the repetition of the phrase, “It’s all honey,” gets boring after the first few times. The backing vocals go almost too well with Samia’s voice, making the song feel one-noted and flat.

One other place the album struggles is with its continuity. It’s not exactly a smooth listen and the tracks don’t complement each other as much as they could. The album feels spliced together and it’s difficult to pick up a continuous theme or storyline. Samia falls for a lot of overused pop tropes, like the unnecessary voice note at the end of “To Me It Was.”

Samia succeeds when the focus is on her vocals and lyricism, not the production of her album. “Honey” feels as though Samia is trying to be someone she’s not in order to appeal to a larger commercial audience. My advice: Samia should go back to her roots as a singer-songwriter and let her vocals and lyricism be the main display.