11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The colour rouge is a bright tint of red—regal, confident and, in the case of Yuna’s album of the same name, vibrant, as befitting a portrait of a woman who has arrived at a place that feels at once secure and awash in possibilities. In the three years since her previous album, Chapters, the Malaysian-born, LA-based singer saw her profile rise. She also got married, and the brooding, lovelorn songs of old have transformed into bright, self-assured pop music. When she croons, "I found the strength I'm looking for/I'll take it to forevermore," on the gauzy, triumphant single "Forevermore", it sounds like a declaration of victory over some past version of herself. If the three releases that preceded this were largely preoccupied with matters of the heart, this one swings wide to include kiss-offs directed at labels ("Castaway"), girl-power affirmations ("Pink Youth") and critiques of social media ("Likes"). Fittingly, Rouge is her most collaborative project to date—rappers Tyler, The Creator, G-Eazy, Little Simz and KYLE all appear, and they're just over half of the featured artists—but it's also her most evolved. Maturation reveals itself in the sleekness of her productions, which take in multiple eras of R&B-inspired pop, and in her lyrics, spotlighting Yuna in rosy shades of empowerment.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The colour rouge is a bright tint of red—regal, confident and, in the case of Yuna’s album of the same name, vibrant, as befitting a portrait of a woman who has arrived at a place that feels at once secure and awash in possibilities. In the three years since her previous album, Chapters, the Malaysian-born, LA-based singer saw her profile rise. She also got married, and the brooding, lovelorn songs of old have transformed into bright, self-assured pop music. When she croons, "I found the strength I'm looking for/I'll take it to forevermore," on the gauzy, triumphant single "Forevermore", it sounds like a declaration of victory over some past version of herself. If the three releases that preceded this were largely preoccupied with matters of the heart, this one swings wide to include kiss-offs directed at labels ("Castaway"), girl-power affirmations ("Pink Youth") and critiques of social media ("Likes"). Fittingly, Rouge is her most collaborative project to date—rappers Tyler, The Creator, G-Eazy, Little Simz and KYLE all appear, and they're just over half of the featured artists—but it's also her most evolved. Maturation reveals itself in the sleekness of her productions, which take in multiple eras of R&B-inspired pop, and in her lyrics, spotlighting Yuna in rosy shades of empowerment.

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